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May 14

Chris Smeaton

Take the road less travelled- St. Michael’s Pincher Creek Graduation Address

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen and a warm welcome to our St. Michael’s Graduates of 2017.

I always enjoy bringing greetings on behalf of the school division to all of our graduating classes, and today marks the first two of our four high school graduations in the division. In both of these graduations here at St. Michael’s and earlier this morning at CCH, their principals will make their final principal address. At the end of this school year, we will say good bye to Mr. Kuchison as principal of St. Michael’s. I would be hard pressed to find a stronger advocate for students than Mr. K. He cares deeply for his students and consistently strives to build positive relationships with them. This is one of his greatest gifts. And so before I bring my remarks, I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Kuchison.

Take the road less travelled is a powerful grad theme and an excellent model of how to take on life. It does provide a dilemma though since often it is easier to follow the road more travelled. It is easier to go along with the crowd, to be silent when you should be heard and to step away instead of stepping forward. In other words, the road most travelled is safe!

It is not that your parents or your educators want you to be unsafe and reckless, but they did not raise you or educate you and God certainly didn’t create you to live a mundane existence. There has always been a challenge to you to go beyond and push yourself. We all want you to be the best versions of yourselves and that cannot come about by taking the road most travelled.

But taking the road less travelled does not mean going forward with your eyes closed in reckless abandon. It is not without thought or practice, but it is always with action. And it is this action rather than any word you speak that will demonstrate you are on the road less travelled.

The road less travelled is not about fame or fortune, an award you want or a position you covet. It is much simpler than that but also much more difficult in today’s society because the road less travelled is counter cultural. It is about making big changes in our world with small gestures; the gestures of friendship, of kindness, of compassion and of forgiveness; the giving of time and of one’s self; the act of standing up for the marginalized and lifting up the downtrodden. While we would like to believe that is common in our world, the fact is, it is a lonely road where few travel often.

In Catholic Education we are fortunate to acknowledge that Jesus is our best example of taking the road less travelled. He consistently spoke against injustice and intolerance and lived with faith and passion. And he calls us each and every day to come along on that road.

When you walk out of the doors of St. Michael’s for the last time this year, commit to taking the road less travelled. Challenge yourself to go against the flow; to speak when it is easier to be silent; to stand up when it is easier to sit down; and to give when it is easier to take. Be open and proud of your faith because that is a road less travelled! In the end, live your life so that you are a shining example for your parents, your peers and your future generations! Take the road less travelled because it is always the right road to the right destination.

On behalf of the entire school division, I wish you congratulations and God’s blessings! Thank you!

 

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