Teacher sets goals for his graduation speech

Matthews notes special circumstances for this year’s event


Cathedran file photo

Guests file in to the Old National Centre for last year’s graduation.

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Reporter

As the rescheduled graduation date for the Class of 2020 looms closer, Mr. Mark Matthews, social studies teacher and interim vice principal for academics, is preparing.

Matthews said, “I was humbled to be selected by the Class of 2020 to speak at graduation. It is an honor to be chosen by students for any honor, but speaking at graduation is such a special opportunity.”

Given the unprecedented times, Matthew said, “Honestly, so much is changing in our world right now, I haven’t given the speech too much thought. July 26 seems like such a long time from now, and many things could change between now and then.”

Baccalaureate Mass is scheduled for July 25 in the Welch Activity Center. Gradation is set for the next day on July 26 at the Old National Centre in Downtown Indianapolis, where Matthews will speak.

With the continuous rescheduling of events due to COVID-19, Matthews said he is “hoping and praying that our situation will be back to normal by the end of July, so that we can have the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation, which our seniors have looked forward to for a long time.”

Along with Matthews, Senior Class moderator Mrs. Katie Lewis added, “The valedictorians and salutatorians will be given the opportunity to try out for the various speaking parts at Baccalaureate and graduation.”

Everyone who has had the opportunity to speak at graduation brings his or her own unique gifts to the speech.”

— Mr. Mark Matthews

There have been numerous memorable speeches given by the graduation speaker, but Matthews said, “I don’t intend to emulate any previous speakers. Everyone who has had the opportunity to speak at graduation brings his or her own unique gifts to the speech.”

Although COVID-19 has caused the seniors’ year to be cut short, Matthews said, “I hope to be able to provide our seniors with a message of hope and love before they officially leave Cathedral. The end of this school year is unprecedented, and our seniors have missed out on so many experiences. We do hope to be able to replicate some of them this summer, but it will be different, for sure.”

The speech at graduation has always left a powerful, meaningful impression on the graduating class, but this year, the speech may create an even stronger bond with the seniors. Matthews said, “I really miss seeing all of my students and can’t wait until we can all be together again. That may not be until graduation weekend, so we have a lot to do between now and then to make sure that everyone stays healthy.

“I just pray that we will all come through this COVID-19 pandemic crisis with renewed optimism and hope for a future that is better than now.”