Student clarifies graduation section responses

| May 25, 2011 | 1 Comment

I am extremely honored at having been recognized in this year’s Salute to Graduates [May 12].  I understand space limitations often require students’ answers to be shortened.  Due to the shortening of my answers, I believe that some of my key ideas have been misrepresented. At St. Agnes, I have been challenged to look at real-world and controversial issues from a faithfully Catholic viewpoint. I think this was lost in the editing, and I would like to clarify a couple of ideas.

First of all, I said that the person I would most like to have a conversation with was Che Guevara. My fascination with his ideas and his dedication to serving the least of the people was expressed in the published article. In my answer in its entirety I concluded, “I would ask him what he thought of Cuba and the world today, and also discuss with him the errors of God­lessness.” I admire Che’s focus on poverty, yet I also feel that he failed in his mission to remedy it. He is not a hero of mine, but rather someone I would like to question and debate, as the answer in its entirety reflects.

When asked to name the accomplishment I was most proud of during high school, my answer was published simply as “Volunteering.”  Volunteering was truly the most important part of my high school career, and in my complete answer I listed examples of my volunteer work. I included volunteering I did for the St. Mark’s parish children’s play during the last three summers and my volunteering for the last four years at the Highland Life Care Center, an organization I believe is critical in protecting innocent life and helping women.

Finally, I listed the autobiography of Malcolm X as the book that most impacted me, which was part of extracurricular reading I did in high school. I ex­plained that the book helped me to “realize the importance of closely examining the prejudices I may have towards others,” and in my full answer I went on to say: “. . . and to always choose truth and the good of humanity over these prejudices.”  Malcolm X is commonly remembered as a symbol of racial hatred. However, at the end of his life, he chose truth and the good of humanity over his prejudice and hatred, for which he was assassinated. This great sacrifice for the sake of truth and humanity is truly one to be admired.

Victoria Blackstone
St. Agnes, St. Paul

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Category: From Readers

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations on graduation. If I may, please let me suggest a few books I found interesting. “Catholics Are Right” by Ceron, The Confessions of St.Augustine,( a true story of coping with current fads and false perceptions that seem true),’The Great Heresies’ by Belloc, and the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” offered by Pope Paul VI. I too was intrigued by Guevara and Malcolm X in my far wasted youth.The late Cardinal de Lubac wrote that we should constantly examine our filters. We need to develop our critical thinking skills and be prepared to welcome improvement in our perceptions of the world, and challenge the ideas of those whom we are attracted. Thomas Aquinas taught that he could find ‘Gold’ in the opinions of those he disagreed with, not pure gold, but some gold nuggets. The serpent in the Garden of Eden offered a false perception and Eve bought it. If she only had read the right book and  acted accordingly, how different things might be. Exploring is commendable but only if you are prepared to act on what you discover, and always seek the ultimate truth. This old man rambles.