By: Andrea Beyke
In a letter from Saint Mother Theodore Guerin to her Sisters in Jasper in 1943, she tells them, “We cannot do our work if we all stay in the nest.” These words ring true to our graduates at this time of endings and new beginnings. Momma Teddy has a way of continuing to speak to us, doesn’t she?
She’s saying GO. Get out. Beat it. Scram. Go in peace. But go…you must go.
When we look back throughout Christian history, we find this theme of being sent forth. To Adam and Eve, God said GO…leave the garden and navigate the way. God told Noah to build the ark; take the animals and your family and GO. Moses was told to “GO to Pharaoh” from the bush that burned. Ruth’s words to Naomi were, “Where you GO I will GO.” (Ruth 1:15) And finally, Jesus told his followers, “GO therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:16) Over and over, God says GO.
And so we send our graduates, not to Nineveh like Jonah or to Pharaoh like Moses, but we send you to find your own niche. Your having been here will have made a difference. The wisdom you have acquired will have changed your hearts. Your having shared in the charisms of Providence will have developed your spirituality. Having been drawn together here at the Woods, reminded of your firm foundation, strengthened in understanding, and nourished for the journey, there is nothing left but to go. Go in that same peace that the world cannot give.
Too much remains to be done in this world for Woodsies to rest turned in on themselves. So, we send you. Go and live the stories you’ve remembered. Go and be God’s great gift of love. Go and be Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s mission in the world. And above all, know that a piece of this sacred place will go with you.