On May 14, 2011, Thomas Aquinas College held its 37th annual Commencement exercises, blessed by the presence of the new Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Rev. José H. Gomez.
The day began with the Baccalaureate Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, for which His Excellency served as the principal celebrant and homilist. In observance of the Feast of St. Matthias, the Archbishop urged the graduates “to become saints like St. Matthias — saints that no one may ever know about, except the people who are close to us, the people we live with and work with.” (For full text of His Excellency’s homily, click here.)
At the ensuing Commencement ceremony, Archbishop Gomez blessed and distributed diplomas to each of the 81 members of the Class of 2011. “As graduates of this fine Catholic college,” he said in his Commencement Address, “you have a unique responsibility for the New Evangelization. You must promote a new dialogue of reconciliation between faith and reason.” (For full text and audio of His Excellency’s address, click here.)
In gratitude for the Archbishop’s extraordinarily faithful service of the Church, Chairman of the Board of Governors R. James Wensley presented him with the College’s highest honor, the Medallion of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Archbishop Gomez “has shown an exemplary loyalty and devotion to the Holy Father and the Magisterium,” said Mr. Wensley, reading from a Board proclamation, adding that His Excellency “has worked tirelessly to proclaim, support, and defend the teachings of the Church and to advance the mission of Christ on earth.”
“It is an honor for me to accept the St. Thomas Aquinas Medallion,” said the Archbishop. “I admire this college and your faithfulness to the Church’s mission for higher education and the New Evangelization.”