WATCH: Senior’s Emotional Farewell to College

The Gregorian Fellows leadership program at Benedictine College is designed to train and launch Catholic leaders rooted in their faith and ready to be effective in contemporary society. The work of the Fellows is often featured here on Fridays.

Benedictine College had to cancel its graduation ceremony in May, and postponed it to July 25. Then, with increasing cases and restrictions, that date had to be postponed also. The college invited a graduating senior, Renz Pros, an Evangelization and Catechesis major and Gregorian Fellow, to share his thoughts with his fellow students. Watch the video based on his letter above or on YouTube. His words are below:

Four years. Four years full of unforgettable memories. And then came March 2020.

I stuffed a few clothes into my duffel bag as I prepared to head out for spring break. I said goodbye to my professors, my roommates, and my closest friends. Little did I know that those some of those goodbyes would be my last.

This time of quarantine and self-isolation was a heavy challenge for us all. I think it is because something so good and so human was taken away from us: our need for community. Our desire for relationship. Our longing for genuine friendship. It hurts so, so much to be alone. Because it is not good for man to be alone.

But let’s not forget the wise words of our college’s motto: “Man’s adversity is God’s opportunity.” Perhaps we were made for such a time as this. Perhaps our time at Benedictine has equipped us to step up and step out into helping and loving one another. We can sulk in despair. We can succumb to our loneliness. Or we can rise.

That’s what we learned when we pulled all-nighters in Bishop Fink to finish that project, or buried ourselves in library books for that big research paper, or lived on coffee at Holy Grounds for those late-night study sessions.

That’s what we learned together on the Raven Walk … on Second Street … in Daytona … in Florence … in Guatemala … and in Washington, D.C.

To my best friends, my fellow senior graduates: in a mysterious yet beautiful way, I still feel united with every one of you. I feel your joy as you announce your acceptance to grad school. I feel your happiness when you pass your NCLEX exam. I feel your excitement as you prepare your grade school classroom.

You all are game changers. That’s who Ravens are. We soar on to glory.

Circumstances may keep us grounded for a time. But not for long. No matter what, Ravens will rise.

And Once a Raven, Always a Raven.

Thank you, Class of 2020. Thank you, Benedictine College.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.