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Never Give Up Idealism, AMU Grads Urged

mass2Fr. Frank Pavone, the president of Priests for Life, knows a thing or two about not giving up and he urged this year's graduates of Ave Maria University never to lose their idealism or give up on the notion that they can change the world.

"One of the biggest challenges you'll face is when people more experienced than you will say, 'Don't be so intense. Don't be so radical," he told the graduates who, along with friends, relatives and faculty packed the oratory Friday afternoon. (Right, graduates file out of the oratory. Fr. Pavone greets some of them in the right of the picture.)

"There will be those who will make you doubt, who will tell you that somehow your idealism needs to be whittled down. " he said. But, referring to the words of Jesus in the day's Gospel reading, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."

"That's not advice," he added, "it's a command."

Fr. Pavone told the Class of 2009 that the pro-life movement is at the heart of everything the Catholic Church believes. "It's not just about a bad court decision that permits the killing of 50 million children in our land," he said. "Unless we can get it right on life we cannot build social justice, we cannot build a just society when we ignore the most fundamental injustice."

mass1Don't be afraid to take risks, he added. "Many advisers will warn you not to risk too much. But the path to greatness is to risk everything."

Following the Mass, University Chancellor Tom Monaghan and President Nick Healy presented Fr. Pavone with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. (left)



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