The text for Bishop Robert Barron’s commencement address given at the University of St. Thomas in Houston on May 8, 2021.

I have the very happy responsibility today of congratulating the University of St. Thomas class of 2021! And also to express my pride in becoming today a member of your class. I’m delighted to be in your company. I would also, of course, like to thank and congratulate your parents, your siblings, your friends, and your professors, who have done so much to bring you to this day and who feel a very justifiable pride in your accomplishments.

My fellow graduates, I would like to reflect with you, very briefly, on the meaning of the formation in the Catholic intellectual tradition that you have received here at UST. A standard view today, on display in practically every nook and cranny of our cultural life, is that the individual person has the prerogative of creating his or her own values. Freedom, especially the freedom of self-determination, is practically unassailable. Frankly, I cannot think of anything more boring!

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