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tv   Betsy De Vos Commencement Remarks at Ave Maria University  CSPAN  June 1, 2018 11:32pm-11:51pm EDT

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be? or what our native intelligence level will be? you see, through prayer, we can have constant contact, day or night, with our creator who knows everything, and can do anything. we have a perfect example to follow if we are in doubt. we just have to remember the perfect life of jesus christ. thank you, very much, and congratulations to all of you. [applause] announcer: education secretary betsy devos delivered the 2018
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tomencement address graduates of ave maria university, a catholic school in southwest florida. she talked about the importance of public service. this is about 20 minutes. [applause] betsy devos: thank you, mr. president for that kind introduction and for the university.f this in your seven years as president, ave maria university has grown in size and stature and it will undoubtedly continue in that trajectory with you at its helm. jim, your lifelong commitment to faith and freedom, have put you in the presence of servants and saints, sinners and politicians. [laughter] 2 are a bite last
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redundant, aren't today? [laughter] to be sure, your service to your country, your church and your soul is no laughing matter, and we are also grateful for your work. thank you. [applause] thank you for this gracious invitation to be with ave maria's board members, its faculty and most importantly, you, it's graduates. i would lecture to take a moment and acknowledge my husband, dick who is here today, and jim, thank you for your kind words about him and about us. i could not be more proud of and thankful for my partner and husband of 39 years. or so grateful for the mone family he has blessed us with. some of you may not always have imagined yourselves here this
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day, but at least one person did. at a gym has already mentioned him. when my fellow michigander tom mela henn founded this university and planted this catholic sees, he was ridiculed and criticized. as many with vision and bold ideas often are. i sometimes know how he feels. rest assured, i will hold true to tom's favorite promise. i will deliver in 30 minutes or less, or it is free. [laughter] [applause] with each diploma conferred, the grows. seed i am thankful for tom's faith, his ideas and his courage. the graduates, he was not the only one that saw this day coming. your families, friends,
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colleagues all walked side-by-side with you as you pursued your education. they supported you, coach to you, to review and probably spent more time in prayer for you, then you will ever know. so, how about standing and showing some love to all those who helped make this day possible? [applause] thank you. you prepare to be with today, i reflected on my own graduation from a small russian college and my favorite corner of the midwest. i never imagined. i would be a commencement speaker when day -- a small christian college in the midwest. i surely did not plan to become a cabinet secretary. . but my perspective then, was limited if there is anything i have learned since, it is that our horizons should be ever
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broadening. we must engage our imagination, be pretty haired to respond to any unplanned opportunity. y'all know your classmate. she was born without a left arm, but you would not know it from her deft handling of all across stick, or her ability to capture special moments on her camera, or for her representation on student government. or her service to the homeless and the elderly. even though i only have one arm, she said, god has given me gift.y other beautiful she encourages those she serves and those who have lost their spirit not to give up. she seizes any opportunity to give just a little boost to faith.ople find their they would bec for her or for any of us for that matter, to focus on what limits us, what is
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hard. ,he world promises you comfort benedictine 16 said, but you are not made for comfort. you were made for greatness. her story is just one of the many stories out of this class that we can all emulate. god gave each of us unique talents, and we can choose what we do with them. however, we should not bury them in the ground. i urge you to go for greatness. ave maria has helped each of you develop your gifts, guided by your faith. yours is a unique institution of higher education, with the highest of ames. one that pledges fidelity to jesus christ and the church. sainted by the lives of john paul ii and saint teresa of calcutta, and one dedicated to character formation. young people with hands and hearts, prepare to serve.
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i want to focus today on a key component of life here at ave service. you have learned that service is not just a noble concept. it is not just for someone else to do. service is a demonstration of our faith. , am reminded of that at home where carved above our fireplace is this verse from joshua, "as for me and my health, we will serve the lord." god, to country and to neighbor, is a calling and an imperative. it is at the core of what it means to be an american, and it should be a calling for you. first to god. christians are called to live out their faith in the context of everyday life. i can think of nobody example than seeing john paul the great -- no better example than seeing john paul the great.
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by the age of 20, he had buried his mother, his brother and his father. he had already lost all the people he loved. he went to study in a clandestine seminary as nazi tanks ravaged his homeland. the experience studied him for the long struggle with the evil empire. he would need it in may of 1981 when a communist try to have them killed. one hand pulled the trigger, another, john paul said, guided the bullet. what an expression of faith. he was a humble man, but he knew that he was called to serve a greater purpose. john paul answered the call to serve god. he also served his homeland. that brings me to my second point, service to country. before he became the bishop of rome, he was the archbishop of krakow where he defended, not , but thefellow poles
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dignity of every person. behind the iron curtain, and beyond. his fight for freedom over tyranny helps reduce the berlin wall to rubble and freed millions in poland and across eastern europe. not many would have expected who heung pole to become did, but his example speaks to all of us. a life inspired by faith and obedience to service, can change the course of history. >> when we reflect on his powerful we soon acknowledge tht solutions to problems don't come from governments. they come from individuals. you.ome from serving one's country ultimately means serving those closest to home. public service is not self-service, it is about serving others. the moral is in obligation, to expand educational opportunities for each and every child.
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mariaits founding, ave has a history of raising up educators. indeed, the single largest profession among all its -- could i ask all those who are planning to please stand a moment? i want to thank you in advance for how you will serve your country and her future. [applause] please stay standing for a moment. i want the rest of the graduates to stand as well. look around you. you are all going to be doing different things in different places, but he also the public and in turn, serve your country. so thank you. you may be seated now.
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no matter your anticipated profession, each of you has the potential to make a profound difference for others. john paul was not the only one called to greatness. we are all called every day, no matter where we are in life, no matter where we live or work, there is no ordinary task, and no ordinary work. and there is no greater call than to serve others. me to my third point, and perhaps the most familiar kind of service. service to neighbor. your model for service, our of nun wea diminutive now call saint. when ave maria opened the country's first museum to teresa an honorta, it was that the president knew would have made her blush. but the museum serves as an inspiration to live as mother teresa did, humbly serving the leased of the least -- the least
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of each. ram inspired by her painting at home, a poignant for trait of mother teresa embracing a group children. i think of a story that i am sure some of. you have heard before. mother teresa reportedly visited a bakery to ask for bread for orphans. rather than responding to her request, the bakers spat at her. mother theresa took out a tissue, web turf her face and face and wiped her said, "ok. that was for me. what about the children?" that is a question we ask ourselves every day. we may face derision, but we should always return to the question she posed -- what about the most vulnerable? what about the forgotten among us? the many pernicious effects of the growth of government, is that though
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too many have abdicated responsibility for one another. it makes folks less connected and more insulated from the needs of others. in the gospel story we all know well, the disciples urged jesus to dismiss a crowd of 5000 so that they could go and buy food on their own. jesus said, no. you feed them. you. tous did not instruct them lobby the roman empire for more food and assistance. it.aid, you do america is the most prosperous nation on the face of the earth, and it is also the most generous. but that strong tradition is not just passed along from generation to generation in the bloodstream. learned, it, it is is shared. mother a lamp burning,
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theresa believed, we have to keep putting oil and it. service then, is ultimately about humbly choosing to see the face of christ in your neighbor, and recognizing and addressing their needs. that opportunity to serve often happens with the quiet voice of the holy spirit urging you to act. my friend and author came up with what he termed "the 10 second rule." when he think you are prompted, take 10 seconds. stop. pay attention. pray. then, do the next thing you are reasonably certain jesus wants you to do. that means, being open to possibilities that aren't preplanned. after this point, you may think that your life has been ordered for you, and you have reached this new chapter rather perfunctorily. class to class, grade 10 grade, graduation graduation. but you will find in your
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careers, your lives, your faith journeys, that nothing is predictable as it seems. think of a fine looking needlepoint tapestry. when you look at the right side, it is beautiful in both design and execution. but when you flip it over, it is a mess. knots, straywith threads and it looks chaotic. the same is true when reflecting on a life well lived. you remember each thread, and you learn from each knot. in form and perfect design to others, is actually comprised of many imperfections. so i encourage you to embrace the mess. know that your life will not always unfold according to plan. anticipate being called to something different. to something unexpected. be not afraid.
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don't avoid a change in course, path.ternate don't fear the unknown. stepped out in faith into those stormy waters. you are blessed to live in the most free country in human civilization. but there are those who are vulnerable. those who are forgotten right around us. find your own kolkata, mother teresa that does. find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right here where you are. in your own homes and your own families. calcud your own kolkat us., mother teresa begged what will you do to put your skills to work in the service of others? now is the time to start doing it. and what you do now, is up to you. it is not up to your parents,
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not after your professors. with god's guidance, it is up to you. congratulations, class of 2018. thank you for the opportunity to share the special day with you. i wish you all the very best as you embark on the next step of your journey. [applause] announcer: congressman mark
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meadows of north carolina addressed the 2018 graduating class of hetrick henry college. and evangelical school in russellville, virginia. he talked about how his faith helped him during his challenges that he faced in congress. this is about 25 minutes. -- patrick henry college in va.onapurcellville, [applause] morning and: good congratulations, graduates. i know that you had to work very hard to achieve this unbelievable moment. because here at patrick henry, excellence is the expected norm. i can tell you, i have not only a graduate that is a son, but i have patrick henry graduates that actually work with me now. i can tell you, some of them are actually graduating today that have interned with


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