The inaugural invocation was delivered by Nicholas Donahue.
It is an honor for me to be asked to deliver the Invocation for my Dad's Inauguration as a way of bringing to this celebration what I learned in being educated by the Christian Brothers at Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley.
In Lasallian schools, we always begin prayer by saying, "Let us Remember, that we are in the Holy Presence of God."
We pray that the principles that guide Lasallian education may be realized in your Presidency:
- A Quality Education that empowers the whole person (mind, body and spirit),
- An Inclusive Community of diverse individuals
- Who Respect one another,
- A community committed to Social Justice
- And one where we recognize the Presence of God in and among us.
Irish Author John O'Donohue captures my hopes for my father in his poem/blessing, Leadership.
This is what I wish for you because of the kind of father/leader you have been for me (our family). I pray that the College may grow as I have grown with the leader you are.
May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.
May you work on yourself
Building up and refining the ways of your mind, spirit, and body.
May those who work for you know
You see and respect them.
May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.
When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with which you engage
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.
May you never become a functionary.
May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question.
May you have a mind that loves the frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.
May you have good friends
To mirror your blind spots.
May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth.
Finally, God of Reason and God of Faith
Grace this joyful day with your spirit and be a constant companion with my father in his Presidency.
May Saint Mary's College be a beacon, bringing to light in modern focus, the wonderfully traditional and ancient adage, “faith seeking understanding,”
May it be a bridge across all chasms that separate individuals from one another and may Saint Mary's be a crossroads where all the intellectual and moral currents of our times meet and are thoughtfully considered.
Please bless my Dad today and bless all who seek to know God's names and voices.