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Bishop Jugis to graduates: 'You have been transformed'
CHARLOTTE — Looking out over a sea of red graduation gowns, Bishop Peter J. Jugis addressed the Class of 2012 at a baccalaureate Mass at St. Matthew Church on May 30, telling them that their time at Charlotte Catholic High School has led them into an encounter with Jesus that has left them transformed.
In his homily, Bishop Jugis highlighted how the reading during the Liturgy of the Word from the Letter of St. Paul to the people of Colossia, and the theme "and be thankful" selected for the Mass, applies to the graduates today.
"My dear graduating seniors, what do the Scripture readings for this Mass say to you, chosen with the theme 'and be thankful?' The first reading from St. Paul's letter to the Colossians gives us a picture of people who have been transformed because of their encounter with Christ. St. Paul notices they have been changed, they have been transformed from what they were before."
Bishop Jugis reminded them of St. Paul's description of how the people had been changed: by becoming people of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love and peace.
"What made the difference? St. Paul tells them: Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior," he explained. "They have met Him, and it is Jesus who has changed them.
"You have been changed, also, because of an encounter with Our Lord that you have had at Charlotte Catholic High School over the last several years. You have been changed, you have been transformed."
He attributed this transformation to the maturation of the graduates' understanding of the virtues they have cultivated and the supportive, Christian community at Charlotte Catholic High School.
"Jesus is here and you've come into contact with Him. He has worked on you and transformed you," he said.
He entreated the graduates to open their hearts to Jesus and to make time for Him in their lives, no matter where they go in life. "Make room for Jesus, make time for Jesus, and He will enter into your heart."
Many of the more than 300 Charlotte Catholic graduates attended the baccalaureate Mass, showing their gratitude by singing in the choir, lectoring, bringing up the gifts, and serving as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. A reception for the Class of 2012 was held in the parish activity center immediately following the Mass.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
Editor's note: Bishop Jugis also celebrated a baccalaureate Mass for graduates of Bishop McGuinness High School on May 24 at St. Pius X Church in Greensboro. Look for photos from both baccalaureate Masses, as well as the names of both graduating classes, in the Catholic News Herald's June 8 edition.
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