This past weekend we celebrated the graduating Class of 2020. After years of hard work and perseverance, our students are ready to go out and change the world. We, as a DePaul community, have prepared them to thrive, care for others, and act justly. We have given them the tools to act upon the Vincentian question, both in their lives and in their communities, “what must be done?”
However, as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, we must also recognize that our job as a Vincentian, Catholic, and urban university is not done. Our world is broken. We must look ahead to the Class of 2021 and our incoming Class of 2024 and ask how are we preparing them to change, or even heal, our broken world? What action must the DePaul community take today to ensure that future classes flourish. Perhaps in 50 years theirs will be a world that is more just, more loving, filled with students whose experience of our broken world is only to be found in history textbooks?
Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac lived in a society marred by systemic inequality. They asked and strived to answer, “what must be done?” Today, inspired by our shared mission, we seek to emulate Vincent and Louise by asking that same question. To follow in their footsteps we recognize, as Vincent did, that “having charity in our heart and words isn’t everything, it has to be put into action.”1
What is one way you can personally take action to help fix our broken world? What must we do to better teach, advise, or support the Classes of 2021, 2024, or 2070, to build a world in which all can thrive?
1) 207, Charity (Common Rules, Chap. 2, Art. 12), 30 May 1659, CCD, 12:223.
Michael Van Dorpe, Program Manager for Faculty and Staff Engagement, Division of Mission & Ministry
Read the Division of Mission and Ministry Statement on the Dignity of Black Lives