Thursday, July 30, 2009


I thought my first blog after the “Hey, I am back” blog should be about graduation. Three years ago, we sold nearly everything we had (house, car, possessions, etc.) to head off to Gaming, Austria to study theology. We were (and are) convinced that this was the Lord’s will for us. At the time, we felt that the reason we were going wasn’t simply to get a degree in theology but to become trained to teach at the collegiate level; specifically the seminary level. This goal demands that we stay in Austria a total of five years: three years to complete the STB-degree and another two years to complete the STL-degree. Once done with the STL, I can teach at the seminary level as I pursue a STD.

Anyway, after three years of sacrifice from myself, my family, and our benefactors, I graduated on May 16, 2009 with a Sacrae Theologiae Magister. I was really excited and blessed with the fact that I graduated Summa cum Laude. It was a way that I could honor the gift of the Lord calling us there, the gift of time and sacrifice my family had given me, and the gift of support from all of our benefactors.

It was a wonderful day. The main celebrant of the liturgy was he Right Reverend Mag. Gregor Henckel-Donnersmarck, O.Cist, Abbott of Heiligenkreuz. He was the person that read and gave us our diplomas.

As I reflect on the day, I am struck by the amazing grace that got us here, kept us here, and brought us this first conclusion. All of my doubt and anxiety was a waste of time. The Lord held us in the palm of his hand the entire time and provided for us at every turn. I often feel ashamed at my lack of trust when contrasted to his amazing faithfulness. It reminds me of a beautiful Scripture from Lamentations:

But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is thy faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:21-26

Thank you, Lord for never letting us go and teaching us about your faithfulness and love. Thank you Debbie for standing by me sacrificing so much. Thank you Lee kids. You inspire me with your love, openness, and sacrifice. Thank you to all our supporters and benefactors that made this possible. May God bless you abundantly!!

Click on any picture to enlarge:



The graduation ceremony was held

in the Baroque Library at the Kartause.


Brother Basil, O.S.B (directing) and Father Benedict, O.S.B (looking on) directing

the boys choir that sang Gaudeamus Igitur (in Latin, of course ;-)).

You can see Zach and Eli in this picture.

No comments: