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God of joy and hope, we thank you for this time of graduation.

Your spirit of wisdom has empowered our hard work and discipline in such a way that our hunger for learning has been nourished with knowledge, discovery, creativity, and determination.

As we prepare to walk across the stage to receive our diplomas, let us walk in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings that have made this moment real and filled with great potential.

In gratitude, we pray for our families and the many who have sacrificed and worked to see us to this hopeful moment.

In gratitude, we pray for the professors and administrators who have challenged, cared, and crafted us along this academic journey.

In gratitude, we pray for fellow students who have taught us more about friendship, collaboration, and sharing.

God, even as we have faced challenges and accomplished much, we understand that our lives move into a new chapter where there will be more challenges to face and more will be demanded of us in order to accomplish good things. May your grace cover our anxieties and fears so that we may stay encouraged about the future.

Give us patience and hope to energize our search for work that is just and makes proper use of our gifts.

Give us courage to face the challenges of carving out a place in society where we might live in peace, service, and gratitude.

Give us strength to resist the temptations of greed, laziness, pride, and envy as we strive to do and be our best.

May your spirit guide us as we unfold the next chapters of our lives. Help us to enliven hope in the world and bring good things to Your Kingdom. And, may this celebration be a reflection of the blessings that we find in knowing and loving you.

For this is the day that the Lord has made. We are glad and rejoice in it! Amen.

—Fr. Steven Bell, CSP
May 16, 2016

Fr. Steven Bell, CSP: Fr. Steven Bell, CSP, is a pastoral associate at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University. Prior to this assignment, Fr. Steve was the associate director of Busted Halo. Ordained in 2008, Fr. Steve served at St. Austin’s in Austin, Texas, where he led lessons on faith for school-aged kids at summer camp and motivational talks for African-American professionals. He also led retreats and missions for young adults and other groups in the church.

Walk with us, God, as we enter into the newness of this Academic Year! Bless our coming and our going through every door, up and down every staircase into every exciting learning adventure! Help us keep balance and peace within ourselves. We pray never to forget what is most important: Love, Integrity, Forgiveness, Joy in serving others.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

—St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Dear God,
We pray for success in our endeavors these next few weeks, especially our exams. We pray you help us to remember you are ever present to us and because of you, we are never alone.

May we exhibit your love and grace, knowing it is ever present in our everyday lives. When we do not know what to do or where to turn, may we remember these words: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change those I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Amen and God bless us and be with us.

—Chandra Grace, Student

God our Father, as I begin this time of exams, I feel
some anxiety and frustration. Help me to stay focused.

Give me a clear mind to perform to the best of my ability.
Help me to study with dedication and vigor. Grant
me silence so that I may process the knowledge I have
obtained. Let me sleep peacefully at night, so that I am
refreshed and renewed for my upcoming exams.

Be with me, Lord, during this time. Undoubtedly,
there will be moments when I want to quit and give
up. Please sustain me, Lord. Guide me during times of
trouble. Help me to realize that I have done my best
possible work. Let me be satisfied with the work I have
done, but also help me to see areas that I may improve
upon academically in the future. Amen.

—Prayer from Marquette University

Dear Lord, bless us as we come together today for this meeting.
Guide our hearts and minds so that we will work as a team
in a spirit of peace and harmony, all for the betterment of our College —
our faculty, staff and students and to those we serve in our community.
Teach us to be ever present as face the tough challenges that come before us
and kind and thoughful in our decision making.
We ask this in Your name. Amen.

Grant to us, O Lord, a Heart Renewed!
Recreate in us your own spirit.

The theme of the prayer of Jeremiah the Prophet and Psalm 51.

Traditional Prayers

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done, on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

I believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is adored and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Quote of the Day

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles.
They run and don’t get tired…

— The Prophet Isaiah in the Book of Consolation

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