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Make Straight the Way of the Lord
Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises held at IPS on May 22, 2013

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, Superior General of the Sisters of Life

The following article was reprinted with permission from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences website.

Arlington, Virginia - “Make straight the way of the Lord. This is in essence your privileged vocation; and the human person your chosen field of mission.” These words of Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, Superior General of the Sisters of Life and the Institute of Psychological Sciences’ 2013 Commencement speaker, highlight what sets an IPS graduation apart from all others.

May 22, 2013 was a celebration: a celebration not only of IPS’ largest graduating class, but also of the new life available to all men and women through Christ and of the tremendous mission of mental health professionals to be the channels through which this life flows.

The celebration began with a Baccalaureate Mass in the Crypt Chapel of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Most Reverend Paul Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, presided, alongside IPS President Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L., Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P., graduates Fr. Mariano Vicchi, I.V.E., and Fr. Jaime Paniagua, L.C., and others. In the homily, IPS chaplain Fr. Daniel Wilson, L.C., exhorted students to “enter into the mystery of man” and like Veronica in the 6th station, to “meet the face of the suffering Jesus with the tools of your formation”.

Following the Mass, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Fr. Sikorsky. She then addressed the graduates, calling them to be “heralds whose lives and whose practice of a healing profession ´make straight the way of the Lord´”, pointing to the final human integration and fulfillment: a transcendent life lived in communion with the living God.” (Read her full address here.)

Twenty-four graduates received Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and three their Doctorates in Clinical Psychology: James Hernadez, M.S., was given the Student Leadership Award; Stephen Hamel, Ph.D., ABPP, the Faculty Excellence Award; and Gladys Sweeny, Ph.D., the President’s Service Award.

Lastly, Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P., senior editor of Magnificat, delivered a tribute to the late Fr. Benedict M. Ashley, O.P., renowned Catholic philosopher and theologian and IPS professor from 2000-2002. Gladys Sweeny, Ph.D., announced the naming of an IPS lecture hall in his honor.

Friends, family and graduates gathered for a reception in the Memorial Hall to conclude the celebration.



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