Ryan Courtney, a 2016 graduate of Chesterton Academy, is currently a St. Mark's Minor Seminarian and a Philosophy and History Undergraduate at Gannon University. Here is an excerpt from his graduation address:
"My senior year has been rewarding and I am truly part of a team and feel like a champion. I may never be the football star, the Valedictorian, or a Prom King… but I know that no matter what challenges I face in the future, I will choose to face them and not run away. When I think about my shortcomings or failures, I try to turn to the Catholic Church and recall its purpose. The Church is made up of sinners, however all sinners make up the church and each shares unique gifts and talents in order to strengthen Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. Likewise, a team or school builds itself up by embracing the unique strengths that each student or member offers. Therefore, I believe no matter what circumstances one is faced with during life’s race God is calling no one to finish it alone. Thank you to my Chesterton family for running this leg of the race with me, and bringing joy to my life. I look forward to visiting as a proud alumnus. I will pray for all of you and I ask that you pray for me as I enter the seminary.
I would like to close with a quote by Saint John Paul II:
“ Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you.”