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Gumbleton delivers 2004 Baccalaureate sermon

The Most Rev. Thomas Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, gave the Baccalaureate sermon at Elon University on Friday, May 21. Details...

Rev. Gumbleton spoke to a crowd of graduating seniors, their parents and members of the Elon community in Alumni Gymnasium.

“We are called to reflect on how we, as sons and daughters of God, are asked to make a difference in the world,” he said, adding that the most important task of faith-based people is to make peace happen. He also spoke of the violence of the 20th century.

“War destroys the lives of innocent people,” he said. “Since World War II, the majority of people killed have not been military combatants, but innocent civilians."

He urged the crowd to break the cycle of hatred to avoid future casualties.

“The only way we become a whole person is by loving and being loved,” he said. “War always leaves behind a trail of hatred and resentment that makes it more difficult to solve the very problem it was intended to solve.”

Gumbleton is founding president of Pax Christi, USA, the national arm of the widely respected international Catholic peace movement. He served as president of Bread for the World from 1976-1984, is co-founder of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and is a member of the Michigan Interfaith Alliance. He has traveled to various countries, including Vietnam, Haiti and Peru to investigate the treatment of political prisoners, participate in humanitarian missions and serve as a delegate to international peace conferences. In 1979, Gumbleton was part of a delegation sent to Iran to visit with American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Teheran. Gumbleton received the Lifetime Achievement in Peacemaking award from the University of Missouri in 2002.

Elon’s 114th commencement exercises are scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 22 under the oaks in front of West Residence Hall on the Elon campus.

David Hibbard & Mandy Byrd,
5/24/2004 8:31 AM