St. Augustine Academy Commencement – Student Speech

Thomas Schuberg – Salutatorian

May 23, 2015

I have attended St. Augustine Academy since 4th grade, for nine years now. Almost half of my class has. When we first came here, the average class size was about 9 or 10 students, and there couldn’t have been more than 100 total. Throughout the years, we have witnessed the enrollment increase, slowly but surely. But more importantly, we have noticed how fervently the school has maintained its mission statement and its integrity.

We have received a superior classical education here at St. Augustine Academy. We have been taught the basic tools of the mind: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. We have all developed theologically, intellectually, and morally. We have been taught some rather important material, such as how to research, construct, and defend a thesis, or how to live a virtuous Catholic life. We have also been taught some seemingly unimportant material, such as how to say the first person singular, present, active, indicative form of any given Latin verb, or how to use the Pythagorean Theorem to discover the amount of force that a charged particle exerts on another particle in its vicinity.

We have truly been gifted with this supreme education, and much is to be expected of us. We are faced today with a world that is declining, spiritually, intellectually, and morally. It is a world that is teeming with individuals who are too obsessed with material goods. Morality has, in fact, become relative. People have put an end to searching for the truth, and consequently, they have filled the world with despair and misery. It is indeed a valley of tears. God has been shut away, and most have forgotten about His limitless mercy and intense love for us. There is almost no respect for life, and it has become dispensable. In short, it is a world that needs some drastic change if it is to be saved. This is the world into which we will be entering very soon.

We now have to make a very important decision. We can do one of two things. We can be silent regarding our faith, not defending it from attack from peers in college, co-workers, or any individual that might approach you with questions. We can be timid and lukewarm and act as if we have had no formation in the faith. But recall that the Lord vomits the lukewarm out of His mouth. No souls will be won over by this timidity.

Our other option is to defend and protect our faith. We must win over hearts by kindness and enlighten them in the truth we have been gifted with in our education here. Remember that ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what they are built for. This world may be filled with darkness, but there is hope in the Catholic Church, in St. Augustine Academy, in us, the class of 2015. We have been gifted with the tools to combat whatever evil the devil may send our way, and it is now time to use those weapons to convert those around us. Let’s unsheathe our kindness. We have been trained to preserve the faith, and it is our duty to reflect the light of God on the drowning world. The decision is up to you and me, and I hope and pray that we all will make the right decision in order to promote God’s love. Let’s make the most of what St. Augustine has to offer and help society to pursue the true, the good, and the beautiful. We have a duty, and it’s time to make a difference in this world by fulfilling it. An incredible opportunity lies before us; let’s not waste it.