Two years ago, on the evening before his last day of classes, I received an email from a senior asking for help with one of his last assignments - a paper in his journalism class. He said he needed some "words of wisdom" from a CBA alum to the soon-to-be graduates as they made their departure from The Academy. After congratulating him on being a true CBA man - that is, waiting until the absolute last minute to get a paper done - I thought back to my own transition from high school, to college, to real world, and the many lessons I’ve learned since my time as a student at CBA. Being that the Class of 2018 has only a few days remaining in these halls, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you what I told him that night. Here’s a portion of my response: If the 2016 me got to speak to the 1999 me, he would probably tell him something like this... - Discover your passion and pursue it wholeheartedly. Be ALL IN. - Do NOT be afraid to fail for failure is our greatest teacher. If you hit every goal you set, then you aren’t setting them high enough. Challenge yourself daily and push past your perceived limits. - Do not take your education for granted. You have one mind and only one lifetime to use it. Fill it with knowledge and experiences, not because it will one day land you a better paying job, but because it will fulfill your soul. - Surround yourself with good people that will support you, not those who tear you down; people that challenge you, not those who simply appease you; people that inspire you, not those who allow you to accept mediocrity. - Keep your commitments and be a man of your word. Never compromise your integrity for convenience. - Don’t rush through the book of life. Be PRESENT and ENJOY THE RIDE. Life is made of moments, some big, some small. Appreciate all of them and don’t take any of them for granted. - The best leaders serve. Be others-centered, not self-centered. Let your legacy be one focused on helping people, not acquiring fortune. To the Class of 2018, these lessons will not always be easy to follow. You will be tempted often to make choices that contradict them. Tempted to choose a more popular or convenient path. Tempted to do what “feels” right, rather than what “is” right. But at CBA you have been given the greatest foundation to get you through these difficult moments - the foundation for living a Christ-centered life. As Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “Remain in me, as I remain in you.” As you leave CBA, the greatest lesson you can take away from CBA is to remain in Jesus. If you do, your life will bear much fruit. Seniors, I pray that you will cherish these final days at The Academy with your fellow brothers, that you will apply the many lessons you’ve learned here as you move forward, and that no matter where life takes you, never forget you will ALWAYS have a home here in Lincroft. St. John Baptist de la Salle….Pray for us. Live Jesus in Our Hearts….Forever!