The 167th Commencement Exercises

Even though we will celebrate our 170th year of service to the Church in September, it’s still hard to comprehend that so many loving and self-giving Anglican priests and lay leaders have emerged from our own humble backyard.

Nashotah House proudly launches another class of scholars, deacons, and soon-to-be priests out into the world. And this year’s 167th Commencement Exercises were no exception.

A masterfully designed service. A tried and true graduating class. Rousing hymnody. These are but a few of the elements that combined to make Nashotah House’s Commencement Exercises at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Oconomowoc a thoroughly engrossing event. Throw in the sharp address by Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University Divinity School, and the near-medieval festivities that followed, and May 24th became a landmark in the 2012 calendar.

Alumni, friends, and family, lined the pews to celebrate the hard work of this year’s graduates and recipients of honorary degree candidates as, one by one, they knelt to have the Dean lay the New Testament on their heads to the faculty’s hearty “We approve!” (in Latin, of course). In fact, most of the ceremony was in Latin. And if that’s not medieval enough, many academic hoods were donned, which hearken all the way back to the medieval tippet, a shoulder-covering worn in the Middle Ages by scholars. At the request of the Graduating Class, the Commencement Eucharist was celebrated according to the Rite One order of service from the Book of Common Prayer, which has a beautiful medieval tang.

Not surprisingly, as guests flooded the wooded Nashotah House campus, what followed was something like a medieval festival replete with a huge open air tent, smoked meats, ales and wines, and enough raillery and badinage to contend the halls of Beowulf. Conversation lasted late into the day as alumni, graduates, and family mingled and celebrated God’s work here in our own corner of the Midwest.

There are so many people who worked so hard to make this event possible, but for now it must suffice to thank the talented Canon Dr. Kucharski, Mr. Ted King, and Mr. Don Snipe for blessing us with so much musical talent. On behalf of the whole Nashotah House family, the Dean wishes to thank all who have volunteered time and talents to assist with Alumni Day and Commencement activities. And Nashotah House wishes to express our thanks to the Reverend John Yockey and his staff for the of St. Jerome Catholic Church. It was a day to remember. May God, three in one, be praised!


About tblanski

Tyler Blanski ( is a housepainter, author and musician who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is 29 years old, and dedicated to discovering Christ’s activity in our lives—whether it’s our relationships, our imaginations, or our jobs. He wants to help build God’s Kingdom, brick by brick. He is the author of "Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred" (Upper Room Books, 2010). Zondervan just published his new book "When Donkeys Talk," a holy pilgrimage into an Anglican understanding of the sacraments. He blogs at: