Immaculata University graduates its largest class
For the first time in 37 years, the ceremony was held outdoors on the grounds of Immaculata, where 949 graduates were joined by hundreds of friends and relatives.
During the ceremonies, the university presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters to James Martin, a Jesuit priest, author and culture editor of America magazine.
“By tradition, I am now a member of your class,” Martin said. “That makes me proud, or as proud as a Jesuit can be.”
As the featured speaker, Martin advised the graduates about the importance of humor and joy in their lives.
“When you’re deadly serious, you’re seriously dead,” Martin said.
Martin is the author of several books, including “My Life with the Saints,” his bestselling memoir that was named one of the best books of 2006 by Publishers Weekly and received first-place honors from the Catholic Press Association. His books have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese and Korean.
Martin urged the graduates to look toward the joy in life and find humor in both the religious and secular worlds. Martin illustrated his point with self-described “bad religion” jokes and passages from the Bible about humor. According to Martin, because humor is rooted in culture and time, many Bible stories are meant to be read with levity.
“No, my fellow Immaculata graduates, I am not advocating a mindless, idiotic happiness. I am not saying your life after Immaculata will be devoid of sadness or you should be a grinning idiot all the time,” Martin said. “You would be a robot if you weren’t sad during times of tragedy or struggles or pain. As the book of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time to mourn. But Ecclesiastes also says there is a time to laugh.”
Martin said humor speaks truth to power and is often a tool of humility. [more]