The spring 2019 Baccalaureate Mass took place at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10, in The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita. The Mass drew students, parents and friends along with Newman board members, faculty and staff.
Mass was celebrated by the Most Rev. Carl A. Kemme, bishop of the Diocese of Wichita, and featured reflections by two Newman graduates, Annie Dang and Kathleen Garrison.
Garrison, an interdisciplinary studies major, is a non-traditional student and mother of eight.
She spoke about “the series of unfortunate events” that seem to occur in everyone’s life. Her series of events led her to Newman and she has been thankful for her experience, she said.
“I feel so proud to be a part of an institution that represented so much hope and aspirations. What meant even more to me than an exceptional education was the foundation upon which it should be built – one of fidelity and faithfulness to Christ and His mission for our lives. I wanted to be a part of something that stood for righteousness and holiness. I wanted to be proud to say, ‘I belong here,'” said Garrison.
Senior Annie Dang, graduating with a degree in biology with a concentration in pre-optometry, also spoke about her time at Newman and how she grew as a person during her four years at the university. Becoming more certain of herself, she said, her talents, her relationships and her future.
“I dealt with a lot of strife during my time here, trying to figure out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I switched majors a few times, came home crying on occasion, and talked to a lot of my professors in an attempt to get them to tell me that I’m a failure.
“But along with those struggles, I also experienced a lot of joy,” she said.
Dang is thankful for the friendships she made, the faith her professors had in her and the training she received at Newman to transform society.