Jefferts Schori and Tutu address Sewanee graduates

The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, addressed University of the South’s School of Theology on Friday, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivered the commencement address earlier today.

Tutu talks about thanksgiving, and about being agents to fulfill God’s purpose. Calling on the graduates to heed the cries for help from those in need, he notes that our greater cause is to bring about more compassion, love and laughter in this world.

The graduation ceremony also culminates the Sewanee’s yearlong sesquicentennial celebration.

From a write-up on Tutu’s address:

People may have their minds on gas prices, grocery bills and whether or not a pink slip awaits them at work, but Americans should not forget the desperation and troubles of others abroad, South African humanitarian leader Desmond Tutu said Friday.

“We have major problems relating to governments and freedom,” said Anglican Archbishop Tutu, speaking to a crowd of more than 800 at the University of the South. “We have a number of places where the rulers are not there because the people wanted them to be there. There is a great deal of oppression.”

Archbishop Tutu was at Sewanee to celebrate the school of seminary’s graduation. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to hold the Anglican church’s top office, also was present at the event.

The write-up in the Chattanooga Times Free Press is here, but it’s better to just watch the sermon itself, here.

Today: Jefferts Schori,

invoking the epistle lesson for the day, told a packed crowd of undergraduates and their families, faculty, staff and special guests in All Saints Chapel that “provocation is the reason you came here…provocation that invokes love and good deeds.”

In the Baccaulaureate Address for the penultimate event of graduation weekend, the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., quoted from the Letter to the Hebrews and urged the graduates to cultivate “undefended hearts” that are open to others and to the needs of the world as a way of taking a leadership role.

Her remarks followed the reading of the first part of a five-part poem, “Sewanee When We Were Young,” by Richard Tillinghast, C’62. Tillinghast received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the service, while Jefferts Schori received an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

Video is not up yet, but should be available later today here.

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