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Home » Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Speech at 2024 Ave Maria University Commencement (Transcript)

Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Speech at 2024 Ave Maria University Commencement (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Fr. Mike Schmitz’s speech at 2024 Ave Maria University Commencement ceremony.

Listen to the audio version here:


You guys, I want to apologize. Two things as we start. One is an apology, one is a thank you. The apology is this: I’ve never done a commencement speech in my entire life, so this could go south really quickly. I have no idea; it’s not like I didn’t research it.

Like, I went to so many YouTube videos. Like, what are the number one? I’m like, “Okay, make your bed.” That’s the number one commencement speech that’s out there, and so I could just say that and like, “Good night.” So that’s one thing; we’re going to do our best this morning.


Number two, thank you. My goodness, I can’t begin to share with you the, ever since President Middendorf had invited me to be here for months, for months, I’ve been praying for you all. And just this recognition of, as was said earlier, that you arrived in COVID.

You arrived in 2020, and you arrived, when you arrived, maybe, this is what our students, our students are having their commencement speech right now as well. And when I saw them 24 years ago, I didn’t know what their chins looked like for a whole semester. I mean, after a semester, they could take the mask off like, “Oh, you have a chin; that’s really wonderful.” But in the midst of everything, it’s just this recognition of the sacrifice that every one of you has put in.

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