The Archbishop of America emphasized in his invocation: “I pray that you will take what you have learned here in Saint-Basile and apply it in your own life for the rest of your days. Because you’ve learned more than just facts and figures here at the Academy. You have learned what it is to love and be loved; forgive and be forgiven; be kind and receive kindness. And these are the most precious lessons of all because they are lessons that are eternal.”
Beloved Children in the Lord – our 2022 graduates,
Dear Father Costas and esteemed administrators,
Friends and supporters of Saint Basile Academy,
Let us pray to the Lord:
Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for your goodness and your special grace for those who have been brought up and taught here at St. Basil’s Academy.
Bless us and all who live, serve, teach, and minister in this sacred institution of our Church, as we come together to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates. Grant that our graduates may always advance “from glory to glory” in accordance with Your Divine Plan for their lives.
Through the intercession of our Father among the Saints, Basil the Great, Holy Archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia, may we always attribute glory, honor and adoration to Your Most Holy Name; of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
On this last day of Pentecost Week, when we “give back” the Feast to next year, I am very happy to be with the Saint Basil Family for another graduation of our precious children.
We make the Feast this Saturday after Pentecost – which we call ἀπόδοσις in Greek – as an act of faith. It is an act of trusting in the abundance of God’s grace in our lives, to meet all our needs until we come to the Holy Feast next year and every year after that.
In the same way, then, we give back by entrusting you, the graduates of 2022, to the grace of God for the continued journey of your lives. None of us can see the future, but I see in your eyes the brilliance of lives that will be lived well and in accordance with the precepts of God.
This is how Saint Basil lived his life. He was raised in a Christian family, and even his parents and siblings are called saints by the Church. But he also walked his own way through life, leaving the comfort of his home in the middle of Asia Minor and traveling to Athens to attend Plato’s Academy. He saw the value of learning – wherever knowledge came from – and increased his own ability to embody God in all aspects of his life. And it is to this journey that I commend you all today. For as you progress “from glory to glory” it is in order to be transformed into the image and likeness of God – to recognize the Divine Presence in all things and in all places.
I pray that your path ahead is smooth. And if it’s a little rocky or bumpy from time to time, I pray that you use these temporary difficulties to dig a little deeper into your own souls. There is an expression in Greek: Κάθε εμπόδιο για το καλό. It means that every obstacle is a teacher of something good. Whether it is learning patience, courage, humility, moderation, perseverance, or any of the virtuous marks of character that ennoble the human person. There is truth in the saying that “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.
I pray that you will take what you have learned here in Saint-Basile and apply it in your own life for the rest of your life. Because you’ve learned more than just facts and figures here at the Academy. You have learned what it is to love and be loved; forgive and be forgiven; be kind and receive kindness. And these are the most precious lessons of all because they are lessons that are eternal.
May Saint Basil the Great himself guide and accompany you every day of your life and make you prosper in all your endeavours. Amen.
 Winston Churchill.