--The Most Rev. John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, May 19, 2014
Your Eminence, Cardinal Dziwisz, President Esteban, Provost Robinson, esteemed honorary degree recipient Mrs. Eberstadt, parents, family, friends of our graduates, and members of the Class of 2014.
Graduates, you have made it. I am certain you did not think, some years ago, how quickly these years would pass. But today you graduate and become alumni of Seton Hall University. Congratulations! Congratulations also are due to your parents and your families. Without them you would not be here. They supported you, they wrote checks, and, in many cases, they did your laundry. After this ceremony, hug them and thank them. I thank them for supporting your choice of a Catholic University that upholds the values of our faith and respects all faiths.
I am honored to take part in this commencement, to assist in conferring your degrees. I also am honored to confer an honorary degree on Mrs. Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt, our commencement speaker, and I look forward to hearing her words of wisdom. I am sure they will be wise words because Mrs. Eberstadt has had a remarkable career and possesses a distinguished record of publications. I will not list them for you or we would be here much too long!
I am very happy to welcome a dear friend, His Eminence, Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow. All you Polish Americans in the arena – give a cheer!
It truly is a joy to confer an honorary degree on His Eminence. Cardinal Dziwisz is a man who has had a unique experience, an extraordinary privilege, and I do not say this lightly. How many of us have walked with a saint, walked with a saint for almost 40 years? Yet Cardinal Dziwisz did just that. He accompanied Pope St. John Paul II on his extraordinary journey. It was a journey that not only went to dozens of countries, but also entered deeply into the mystery of Christ. Cardinal Dziwisz not only walked with Pope St. John Paul II, but also carried him after he fell bleeding from an assassin’s bullets in St. Peter’s Square. Years later, it was on Cardinal Dziwisz's arm that an aging pontiff leaned as he struggled to walk in his last years. To be in his presence is to experience the light and joy of Christ that Pope St. John Paul II showed to the world in the more than quarter century of his pontificate. Seton Hall is honored to have him with us today.
In closing, I would like to congratulate the faculty, administration, and staff of our great Catholic university for the successful completion of the visitation from the Middle States Association. Although the final documents are not yet in hand, I know that the great work of recent years will form a foundation to build an even greater future for Seton Hall University.
God bless you all!