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Ulysses resident gives speech at

Newman U. Baccalaureate Mass

 ‘God is never truly finished with our story’


During Newman University’s annual Baccalaureate Mass — May 11 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita —graduating senior and Ulysses resident Patricia Lujan shared a reflection about her experience attending the Newman University Western Kansas Center.

The western center works in cooperation with the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City to present classes through the Interactive Television program at sites throughout the diocese.

For more information, including a listing of bachelor and master degree programs, click here.


Good evening. My name is Patricia Lujan. I am from Ulysses, Kansas and tomorrow I will be graduating with a bachelor of science and elementary education. I once read, “Man can live 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.”

I feel as if this was me when I began my experience at Newman. They not only provided me with an education, but the staff provided me with kindness. When I began my second degree with the Western Kansas Newman program, I thought, I am going to just go and do my homework, just to get finished.

But it was truly the opposite. As I began school, I was going through a very hard process of grieving a very close friend. Two weeks into classes, and I lost another family member. I was so lost and had no motivation to do anything. It felt as if all hope was lost.

I remember asking if it was too late to withdraw from classes. ... But little did I know that God was working through my instructors.

Through their caring actions, I learned what it truly meant to be an educator. It was about giving your all at all times. It was showing your students that despite their situation, they could get through any obstacle.

These instructors pushed me to my limits. They were finally able to accomplish what I never could. That is knowing who I truly was and discovering the gift that God had given me.

The way Newman describes learning is exactly what happened to me. It describes learning as being a transformational, that guided by Christ, it can be a positive one. I walked out of the darkness and into the light. I finally found my true calling of being an educator. If I had not found this hope at Newman, I’m not sure where I would be.

I am so proud to say that I am a graduate of a Catholic university. But there is no way I could have done it without certain people.

… As I finish, I would like to remind you guys that God is never truly finished with our story. It’s never too late to have a new start. As Matthew Kelly wrote, it’s never too late to become the best version of yourself.

God wants us to be people of possibility, and people of possibility never give up. So now I commend you to go out into the world and become those people who spread hope. Congratulations on this new journey.



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