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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

060917 bhhs massjpgBishop Jugis addresses the Class of 2017

CHARLOTTE — The months of May and June herald high school graduation season and with it the opportunity for Bishop Peter Jugis to address hundreds of Catholic school graduates in western North Carolina. This year, a total of 470 students graduated from three Catholic high schools – Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, Christ the King Cathollic High School in Huntersville and Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville.

Pictured: Graduates of Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville gathered May 25 for a baccalaureate Mass at St. Pius X Church in Greensboro celebrated by Bishop Jugis. (Photo provided by Katie Williams)

On May 30, Bishop Jugis celebrated the annual baccalaureate Mass at St. Matthew Church for the Charlotte Catholic Class of 2017. During his homily, he encouraged the graduates to contemplate their futures in light of the Catholic education they have received.

“Now, it is true that every one of us impacts the lives of others in some way,” Bishop Jugis said to the graduates. “It can’t fail to happen, so it is worth asking, ‘What kind of impact will you have on the lives of others as you move forward?’

060917 ctk bac massThe Class of 2017 of Charlotte Catholic High School celebrated the end of one chapter in their lives and the start of another with a baccalaurate Mass May 30 at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte offered by Bishop Peter Jugis before their graduation June 2. Tara Heilingoetter | Catholic News Herald060917 ctk bac massGraduates of Christ the King High School attended a baccalaureate Mass June 1 at St. Mark Church in Huntersville, celebrated by Bishop Jugis.(Photo provided by Amy Burger)“As you are pondering that, there is one thing I would like for you to keep in mind; to remember the excellence of charity and mercy, and make sure that you practice these,” he said.

Bishop Jugis then spoke of how mercy has a long-lasting impact on the lives of others. “We just heard (in the Gospel reading) Jesus in this Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, highly commend the practice of mercy to His followers, even including it in His list of the Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’

“If they weren’t important to Jesus, He would not have included it in His list, His Beatitudes,” Bishop Jugis explained. “An excellent virtue. An excellent way of life that I would like you, as graduates of Charlotte Catholic High School, to remember as you go your way and represent to all the world your Catholic education. Be merciful.”

Bishop Jugis cited many examples of charity and mercy in the life of St. John Paul II, who ordained him to the priesthood June 12, 1983 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The saint also appointed him Bishop of Charlotte in August 2003.

“I give those examples of charity and mercy from the life of Pope St. John Paul II just to get you thinking,” Bishop Jugis said. “You have a choice to make. It starts as soon as you graduate, and has already been planted in you by your formation in your Christian faith.

“You stand on the threshold of a great lifetime adventure. Take the love of Christ with you wherever you go. Jesus asks that you do what you can do. That’s all He asks. That you do what you can do for His kingdom of mercy, for His kingdom of justice, truth and holiness,” Bishop Jugis explained.

He asked the Class of 2017 to keep in their hearts the promise that Jesus makes to His disciples, ‘Behold, I am with you always.’

“Never forget those words of Jesus as you go in your life’s direction, in your life’s way,” Bishop Jugis said. “When Jesus makes a promise, He fulfils it. He is with you to guide you. He is with you now to bless you on your way. He is with you to inspire you.

“As you continue living your faith, He is with you to help you,” Bishop Jugis said.

— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

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