“Pomp and Circumstance” played for the last time Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Mater Ecclesiae College, Greenville, Rhode Island.
“Fifty years from now, when our graduates recall their graduation day, they might possibly remember two unusual and distinct things about their graduation,” said Mater Ecclesiae College President Dr. John Kingsland. “The first is that they will likely remember the names of every single person in their graduating class, and the second is related, that they were in the last class to graduate from Mater Ecclesiae College. It’s a blessing in fact that we had this period allowing us to finish off gracefully, for the sake of those graduating right now, and for the rest of us to have time to regroup and prepare well for the next leg of our journey.”
The college announced earlier that it would close at the end of this spring’s semester, completing more than two decades as a primary formation center for the consecrated women of Regnum Christi. In the future, the initial discernment stage for North American women considering Regnum Christi consecrated life will be held at another facility to be named. College formation will occur at University of San Dámaso in Madrid, Spain.
The final graduates were Victoria O’Donnell, Sofia Renovales, Liliana Ruiz and Mirianna Sternhagen.
Mirianna gave the student commencement address, recalling the most important lesson of her college experience:
The truth that I have discovered is the most important truth in life: It is the truth that I am loved. With St. Josephine Bakhita I can say “I am definitely loved, and whatever happens to me, I am awaited by this love. And so my life is good.”
Fr Roger J. Landry of the Diocese of Fall River used his commencement address to remind the graduates, friends and family that this was just one of many campuses of “Mater Ecclesia” – an institution that began in the earliest days of Christianity.
“We think of the various other famous campuses of Mater Ecclesiae College. The first was a one-room vocational school in ancient Nazareth. The second was outside the city gates of Jerusalem as a beloved disciple, representing all much-loved students, was admitted into the school with a full scholarship paid that day by the school’s Founder. A third campus was held in an upper room in Jerusalem that had unforgettable commencement exercises full of strong driving wind and tongues of fire. Each of us attended another from the first days of our life in an alma mater ecclesiae that also doubled as a domestic church and we give a special thanks to the professors of love and wisdom who were our tutors, particularly those who are here today. And we know from here each of you, soon to be graduates, just as those before you, along with your dedicated faculty members and so many others who studied and taught here, are going to be moving to other Mater Ecclesiae campuses all across the global university Jesus himself chartered in his valedictory address when he said “Go and teach all nations.”