A letter to the class of 2007…
May 26, 2007
Congratulations on this momentous achievement in your life. It is no doubt a happy and exciting time for you, high school diploma in hand, with so much on your horizon: college, a career, perhaps marriage and even children. But I am sure that your happiness is tempered with other, less desirable emotions. Your graduating class marks the end of an era – a glorious era – of Catholic education at Bishop O’Reilly High School. There’s a sense of pride in being the last class, and you should certainly be proud to stand for one last time as Queensmen and Queenswomen. But with that distinction comes a significant responsibility, perhaps one greater than any other class, to live out the values of Bishop O’Reilly. Next year, a new student body under a new banner and name will occupy the building at 316 N. Maple Avenue that you have come to know and love. The teachers, coaches, and staff that made you who you are today will have moved on to new positions at different schools. There won’t be any more Senior Waltzes, state championships, or science contests. The words of the Alma Mater will not be taught to a new freshman class. Yes, Bishop O’Reilly as you know it now will be no more. But it will not be dead, nor will it be forgotten. The legacy of your alma mater is now in your hands, and in the hands of the countless alumni who came before you.
It is a long-standing tradition at Bishop O’Reilly to present the “Queen’s Challenge” at Commencement. Although this year the challenge was presented to the seventh graders who will return to the building next year, I hope that the senior class, as well as all the underclassmen, accepts it as well. The challenge is no longer limited to the walls of Bishop O’Reilly, but to the communities into which you now go forth to live, study, and work. Live your life the courageously, and seek truth and justice. Be a good citizen and a good neighbor. Look to Christ, your King, and follow the example of Mary, your mother. Through you, Bishop O’Reilly will live on in glory. Don’t let her down.