The Catholic University of America Graduates Encouraged to Seek Happiness, Truth… – Press Release


Washington, D. C., May 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In remarks delivered to the 1,357 graduates of The Catholic University of America during a May 13, 2023, commencement ceremony held on its Washington, D.C. campus, University President Peter Kilpatrick urged the graduates to find success in life through trust and gratitude. 

In his first Commencement address as Catholic University’s president Kilpatrick told the graduates that “by leaning into what you learned here as undergraduate or graduate students, and trusting in the education and formation you received here, you will find your way forward.”

“The division, disunity, and toxicity that characterizes our culture in 2023 will not be easy to navigate” in a “culture that believes truth is whatever I make of it,” he said, encouraging the graduates to take a different path.

“I wouldn’t focus your time, attention, and energy on what the culture lacks. Your focus should be on who you are, and what you have to offer this world that desperately needs your light.”

Being grateful is part of a life of happiness, he said, quoting a former Catholic University administrator: “Be grateful for what you have, and do not worry about what you do not have.” 

Arthur C. Brooks, commencement speaker, author, Harvard social scientist, and happiness expert, expanded upon the importance of finding success, not through the right job but through an understanding of self and faith. 

He said the wrong question to begin with is, “What am I supposed to do to find a career that makes me happy?” The first question to ask is “Who am I?”, adding that knowing oneself “requires a process of discernment, of looking for deeper meaning.”

“Any amount of research shows that pursuing success – whether you count that in money, power, or prestige – usually leads to less happiness,” he said. “It turns out that a very good strategy for finding happiness in work is to strive for excellence and love.”

He told the graduates that “God is pure will to love the…