Prayer For Alumni Reunion

God of all time and generations,

We thank you for the life and faith you give us in every land, time and place.

In particular, we praise you for the long and noble heritage of The American College of Leuven/Louvain which first opened its doors in the year, 1857.

We give you thanks for the generosity of the Belgian people who for over a century and a half have welcomed and hosted seminarians and others to thrive at this historic institution with its excellent university: first, with its primarily European students preparing to serve as missionaries to the still developing United States of America; then, with numerous American seminarians living and studying in this remarkable country in order to return home well equipped with visionary philosophical and theological backgrounds as well as practical pastoral skills; and finally, in this new and present age, with a variety of Belgian, American and other international students, who now live here in various forms of community while they learn and grow in countless areas of study, immersed in this inspiring academic and cultural setting.

As we gather here today for the Grand Opening Celebration commemorating the completion of these fully renovated, time-honored collage of buildings, courtyards and gardens, housing its new mission and purpose, we ask your blessing as we move forward together, grateful for the past achievements of those who lived here before, lifting up in prayer all those who reside here now and those who will dwell here in the future. Bless them, as well as all those who have been involved with and made possible the renovation of this physical structure, and also those who have been charged with developing and maintaining the new goals, direction and objectives of The Amerikaans College (American College) at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven , the Catholic University of LeuvenKU Leuven.

We ask you to bless our countries and their leaders. Thank you for the American people who courageously defended and graciously helped rebuild this city, country and continent throughout two world wars. Bless all of us as we together strive to promote your Kingdom in our midst, for we are indeed called to be a people of faith, dwelling in charity and peace, desiring a common hope to work side-by-side for a better world. We ask you to keep us open to the signs and needs of the times, willing to change and adjust as circumstances demand, always being guided by your Holy Spirit in our response as your faith-filled disciples.

We offer our prayer in the name of your son, our brother and savior, Jesus Christ, and through the intercession of his mother, Mary Immaculate, the Seat of Wisdom. Saint Damien of Tremelo and MolokaiPray for us!

And let all the people say, Amen! (with hands lifted up)-- Amen!

And tonight we pray in thanksgiving for Notre Dame, and the things we learned here, the education we got here and sometimes even for academic classes we had. For the friends we made, the places we went, the things we did and the things done to us from our perspective of fifty-four years of being a part of Notre Dame, we give thanks.

We remember not just tonight but through these days the friends and classmates who are not here this weekend those who could not make it, and especially those who have passed on. They have been with us during these days, for they too are part of the tapestry of our memories, and whether we say it aloud or simply think it, there were many moments wouldn't Lance [Davis '71] have hated this! I'd love to hear what Joel Garreau thought of that Can you imagine the face on Rick Rembusch [d. 1997] or Ed Coffey [d. 2018] or Pat Gaffney [C.S.C.] at this moment. We all do it, and it pays a special tribute and a silent honor to our class when we do.

For we are the class of 1969 rhymes with really really fine or wine. It was our generation that said never trust anyone over thirty and here we are.

So dear God, we give you thanks tonight for one another, for the generosity of so many who have helped make this weekend not just another reunion we ask you tonight to watch over us, those here present, those absent and especially who are with you. Keep us safe and healthy and active in the years to come.

Bless the food we are about to receive, and keep us ever mindful of those who are less fortunate than we. Bless and protect the men and women who tonight stand guard at home and in dangerous places around the world, defending our freedom and preserving our safety.

God bless our gathering God bless our country and God bless the University of Notre Dame. Together let us say Amen.

Loving God, you are the Creator of all, Sustainer of our life and Giver of every good gift.

Look upon us as we joyfully assemble once again as the Class of '60?to remember times past and renew friendships made when hair was short and plentiful and skirts were long and colorful. May we take little notice, O God, of how much others have advanced in age - while, by your grace, each of us has only grown in experience.

We give thanks for Hamlet High School and the gifts she engraved on our hearts and minds and for the teachers, coaches and staff who taught and encouraged us - who even at times disciplined us. May we always remember with gratitude their part in making us who we are today. Let us honor them by keeping our hearts open and young, even as our minds and bodies age.

We remember classmates who couldn't travel here tonight and those who have died and now reside in your heavenly Kingdom. Take them in your loving embrace. Draw their spirits ever closer to you.

We offer our heartfelt thanks for those who have worked so creatively to make this reunion a reality and give us a taste of years past by helping us recall pleasant memories and special friendships.

Tonight, as we enjoy this banquet, let us remember with compassion those who at this very moment are hungry and lonely: without food, without friends, without home. Touch our hearts to share our selves and our resources to bring justice and peace to all your people.

Continue to sit with us at table this evening. Bless the food and the drink- the conversation and the laughter. Let us be gifts for one other.

May each of us abide in your grace. AMEN.

Our Heavenly Father, We come to you at this cycle of our lives, our later years.

We remember those, friends and companions, who have been in our midst, but who are now gone. We thank you for the part of their lives that we have shared, however brief or however joyful. Let us remind ourselves, because of them, that each day is a gift, not a promise, to be lived as beautifully as possible within our abilities and our means.

Thank you for the fleeting marvels in each moment, for the solaces of friendship, for the continuing miracle of love coming into our lives, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes through the touch of a child or the embrace of another human, sometimes in the overwhelming reality that You approve of who we are or of what we do.

Thank you for laughter through the years and for those events, small or large, that bring us delight.

Thank you for mercy in the midst of suffering, for comfort when we are afraid or distressed, for sleep that eases our sorrows.

Thank you that we have danced, that we have celebrated, that we have sung and praised, that we have been privileged to live deeply in a time of amazing advancements.

Thank you that many of us have had meaningful work in our days.

Thank you that some of us have made a difference for good in our world.

We are sorry for the times that we have disappointed You, or abandoned others, or betrayed our own selves. Forgive us, please, and help us to do better.

Bless us this evening, we pray. Give us joy in meeting again. Give us tenderness for those who struggle. Help us to be kind in word and deed. Grant that we may be alive with curiosity. And as we leave one another, perhaps never to meet again, help us to wish one another peacepeace for living and peace for dying.

We pray this in Your name: in the name of the Father, and of His Son, Jesus Christ. May we use the time still left to us, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to be more than we thought possible. Amen.

I would like, first, to thank you for this honor of leading you
in prayer. As we gather for our 60th class reunion, I would ask
each of you, each in your own way, to reflect with me, and in your
own minds and hearts, blend your most solemn and best thoughts
with mine, as I lead you in forming a collective prayer a three
part prayer containing remembrance, blessings and thanks.
We want first to remember in our prayer- remember those
who are no longer with us all our departed classmates, our family
members and friends, and all who have helped to shape our lives
and destinies over the years. We will always look back with love
and cherish their sacred memories. We remember, too, our
classmates and family members not with us tonight because of
illness and health issues, and we pray for their quick recovery and
well being.
And we seek blessings in our prayer, blessings upon this
class gathering as we celebrate and cherish these 60 plus 4 years -
64 years of friendship and fondness, brotherhood, and a bonding of
love that unites us in such a unique and special way as the West
Point Class of 1957.
And we give thanks in our prayer. We give thanks for the
bounty of this great nation, and the privilege and opportunities we
have had to serve it. We give thanks for our lives and our families.
We give thanks for the legacy of West Point and the honored place
we have earned for the Class of 1957 in that Long Grey Line.
And so, for this privileged moment of prayer together with
you, as we remembered, and we sought blessings and gave thanks,
we offer together a collective and a grateful Amen.

Loving God, we are grateful for the

many gifts you have given to us:

The gifts of life, love, family, friends,

faith, and of our Catholic schools.

Thank you for guiding those who have

so generously given of themselves

throughout the years in the promotion

and growth of our schools.

May their dedication and sacrifice

continue to make it possible to bring

Christ to your beloved children.

We ask your blessings on the outreach

of the Catholic Alumni Partnership.

Open the hearts of our alumni so that

through their dedication and sacrifice

our schools may continue to flourish.


Lord, You are the God of life that sustains every moment of our being.

Today, we thank You for this opportunity of class reunion,
after we said our temporary goodbyes to our dear Alma Mater.

Thank You for all of us present today, for our friendships new and old,
and for all the good memories we share.

Thank You for the meal we will partake later,
the fruit of human hands from the bounty of your blessing.

Bless us all and our families,
including those who could not attend this reunion,
for various reasons.

We pray most especially for our classmates,
who have completed their life's journey
ahead of us. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord.

Make this special day full of fun and excitement,
celebrating life as we walk through memory lane of our youth.

And after our great time together, grant us a safe trip back home,
even as we pray and hope to be enjoying each others company again
at our next class reunion.

For all these we ask your blessing,
our loving Father, through Jesus your Son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Welcoming God, whose abiding love sustains our world, with glad hearts we gather here in celebration of our shared histories.

In deep gratitude that stretches back through the years, we remember the strong friendships forged in our youth. We give thanks for the devoted lives of teachers, coaches, mentors and family whose generosity nurtured us as we grew. Tonight even as we rekindle old friendships, we are tenderly mindful of our twelve friends and classmates who are no longer with us on earth. We give thanks for their lives, and we pray for peace and comfort to those who grieve their loss.

May our time together be joy-filled as we share memories of days gone by and news of where life's journey has taken us. Give us grace to recognize our mistakes from the past, so that we might have forgiving hearts. May our personal reunions be shaped by kindness and laughter, and may the stories told and retold tonight bring delight and good will.

We give thanks for the food we share tonight, for the hands who harvested, transported, prepared and now serve it. And as we enjoy this meal, may our festivities be a toastin honor of and thanksgiving for those who had a part in our lives at Centralia High School over thirty years ago.

Bless this reunion time. May these moments together lead us to treasure ever more fully each beat of our hearts and every new day life brings us.

With the hope of God's shalom in our world we pray, Amen.