Today is graduation day at The University at Buffalo, UB to those of us in the know here. Many of the students who I have come to know are graduating this day. Fortunately, many are sticking around the Buffalo area including Lauren Imbriano who will be a Catholic Volunteer here as well.

A few nights back I was invited to one of my favorites, Zach Tomasik’s, home for a pre-graduation dinner. I assumed this would be a graduation party with his classmates and friends along with his family. Imagine my surprise when I showed up (20 mins late!) and found the house quiet with just his family and him ready for a wonderfully cooked meal that Zach had cooked himself and him at the ready with a prepared grace, thanking each of us for his support throughout his college years.

It was a wonderful night with a great family and made me feel grateful to be just a small part of his college experience and to be appreciated for that.

But the truth is that I do grow close with the students I serve and they become just as much of a part of my life as well. So when Ryan Undercoffer gets into law school, I too, am elated. When Jarrett Steffen tells me that he’s been accepted to the Carmelites, I can’t help but be excited at the prospect of one of our own being amongst the members of the priesthood, especially one who I know has the potential to be a great pastoral leader. Ellen Krasniak heads into further study at our physical therapy school and Marie Hardy studies further as well. Both are great students and more importantly people who care about the least of God’s people.

There’s a whole bunch more that I don’t have time to mention but suffice it to say that I will miss the close contact we have had with these groups of student from this class. It’s difficult to say good-bye to all they have meant to Campus Ministry and so we will just offer them this simple blessing from the Notre Dame Folk Choir:

An Irish Blessing:

May the Road Rise Ever To Meet You
May the Wind Always be at Your Back
May the Sun Shine Warm on Your Face
May the Rain Blow Soft on Your Field
And Until We Meet Again…
May God Hold You In the Palm of His Hand