‘Always Forward!’ Home-School Graduation Speech Makes National News

It’s not often a home-school graduation ceremony makes national news — maybe not often enough.

But the June 18, 2022, commencement address by President Stephen D. Minnis at Seton Home Study School high school graduation in Front Royal, Va., did.

In The Epoch Times, writer Jeff Minick told the tale in “Pick Yourself Up and Move Forward.”

“At a recent commencement address to Catholic homeschoolers, the president of Benedictine College offered graduates a piece of advice taken from one of his school’s slogans,” he wrote.

“‘Forward,’ Stephen Minnis enjoined. ‘Always forward, everywhere forward.’ When you’re faced with adversity, he told the students, don’t spend your time looking back. Move forward.”

Minick called Minnis’s remarks “wise, useful advice.”

President Minnis didn’t just give his commencement address to teens who are leaving home-school behind — he gave it to teens headed to college, many of them to Benedictine College.

This fall, Benedictine will have over 50 students who are graduates of Seton Home Study School. Benedictine is a Seton College Partner, and Seton has spotlighted Benedictine College many times, and vice versa. Seton students perform well at Benedictine; current Seton students at Benedictine have an impressive 3.5 GPA average.

Minnick said Minnis’s advice is especially helpful because when we encounter difficult circumstances, “Three things can then happen: We can choose to slog through that swamp to solid ground, our circumstances can change, or we can give up and remain mired in the mud.”

Rather than imitate those “stuck in a gloomy quagmire,” he said, be like “those magnificent men and women who decide enough is enough, haul themselves upright — sometimes with a laugh, sometimes with a curse — shake off the mud, and look to the future.”

Beneditine College and Seton Home Study can brag about the same alumi who did just that.

  • Michael Slaten, who signed a contract to play professional baseball after playing with the Ravens baseball team
  • Tricia Walz, who is now an MDR/Vigilance Specialist at Medtronic
  • Hannah Tichy, currently in formation with the School Sisters of Christ the King in the Diocese of Lincoln
  • Kate Caughron, who is now a Patent Examiner with the US Patent and Trademark Office

Nonetheless, “Forward, Always Forward,” offers no guarantees, Minick said. “We may fall flat on our face in that next business enterprise. We may again have our heart broken by love. We may be plagued by doubts and second thoughts. But here’s the pay-off: We’re living again.”

Read Jeff Minick’s column here.

Watch President Minnis’s Commencement Remarks at Seton Home Study Graduation here.

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Ex Corde Editorial Staff

Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. The Ex Corde Center for Catholic Media creates video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while providing students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde media fellows program.