As is our tradition at the University of Notre Dame, let us begin with prayer:
Salutatorian Stephen Schafer delivers the invocation at the 2016 University Commencement Ceremony
Generous God, today our hearts are filled with gratitude for all your many gifts. Thank you for guiding us to this wondrous Commencement Day. We are grateful for having lived, worked and studied at this great University, dedicated to your Blessed Mother, and for the many joys and opportunities we have experienced here. Thank you for the family and friends, teachers and mentors, who not only helped us get to this moment, but also made us believe that great things are within our reach. May their happiness be as great as ours on this joyful occasion. Bless all of the faculty, rectors, Holy Cross and other religious at the University of Notre Dame, who educated us intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially. We are forever grateful for their dedication and passion. We remember and pray for all departed members of the Notre Dame community. May their souls be at peace forever in you, Lord, and may their families be consoled by the promise of eternal life.
Merciful God, wherever life leads us, give us the faith to trust in you, the wisdom to know right from wrong, and the courage to stand up for truth and justice. Lord, help each of us, as daughters and sons of Notre Dame, to be “a healing, unifying, enlightening force for a world deeply in need.” As we embark upon our various vocations, make us stewards of your creation, defenders of human life, instruments of peace and agents of compassion. Help us to see that dreaming big isn’t just about career success or social status, but rather seeing beyond the social constructs that currently limit the world, seeing beyond the close-minded stereotypes that create fear and violence, and daring to see the common humanity we share. Today we pray for all who are victims of violence, especially religious persecution and terrorism; for all who live in fear and loneliness, including refugees displaced from their homes and separated from family and friends.
Loving God, we ask that you hear our prayers and grant us whatever is for our good, through the intercession of Notre Dame our Mother, and Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.