ARLINGTON, VA – The 2015 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences brought twenty-two new graduates with master’s and doctoral degrees. Marking the fourteenth year of commencement exercises, the emphasis was on the importance of mercy as they embark on their future careers.

Immaculeé Ilibagiza, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis, addressed the recent graduates by sharing her story of survival. “You have a big job, and an important one. When I was a child I wanted to be like you. By bringing your gifts to the world, you will bring change. The world is hungry for people who show them the way.” Ms. Ilibagiza was presented with an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from IPS President Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C. with a recognition of her important contributions to worldwide humanitarian efforts to promote faith, hope and forgiveness even in the worst possible circumstances.

With the upcoming Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, the graduates were commissioned in a particular way to be witnesses to hope and healing.   Fr. Shawn Aaron, L.C. spoke to this important mission when he addressed the graduates: “Your call is to help those standing alone. It is not always a technique, but always a relationship that transforms.” The graduates were reminded that through the time of preparation and training, they are being called to serve in a greater capacity and for a greater purpose.

Each graduation marks the culmination of studies, clinical experience and academic training of graduates. Among the graduates, their experience included working in settings across the country, providing crisis counseling, individual, marital and group therapy for a variety of diverse populations.

The ceremony began with a Baccalaureate Mass in the Crypt Chapel of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The IPS Choir, led by graduate Sr. Mary Concepta, S.V., lifted the congregation in music and song accompanied by organ, violin and viola interludes.

Following the Mass, Alumni Dr. Christina Lynch accepted the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award, presented a graduate who has made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments, affiliations and careers have honored the legacy of the excellence of the school.  Dr. Paul Vitz was awarded the President’s Service Award for his ongoing commitment and service to IPS since the founding.

IPS Chaplain, Fr. John Pietropaoli, L.C. closed with a blessing of the graduates, “Grant to all those present the eyes to recognize your face and the ears to hear your voice. Bless the IPS community, all our family and friends, and those who support our efforts to share your vision of the human person in all its truth and beauty and healing power.”

Alumnus Michael Horne, Psy.D. (2007) was recently featured in The Catholic Herald

Michael Horne, Psy.D. at graduation in 2009

In a recent edition of The Catholic Herald, Arlington’s diocesan newspaper, Alumnus Michael Horne, Psy.D. (2007), discusses how faith impacts his role as a psychologist.

Learn More

M.S. Alumnus Shares Career Insights at Living the Call Series

John Varieur, M.S., Class of 2012

On Friday, June 7, 2013, John Varieur, a 2012 master’s graduate of IPS, returned to campus as a presenter for our “Living the Call” series.

Learn More

Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.’s Tribute to Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P.

Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP, and The Institute for the Psychological Sciences honored the memory of Dominican Father Benedict Ashley, who died after a brief illness on February 23rd of this year.

Learn More

IPS 2013 Commencement Address, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., Ph.D.

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV, one of the first to respond to John Cardinal O’Connor’s inspiration to found the Sisters of Life, adressed the 2013 IPS graduating class.

Learn More

New book from IPS Press “Builds a Bridge” between Psychology and Philosophy

Philosophical Virtues and Psychological Strengths

This volume builds a bridge that permits a conversation between the best of the psychological sciences and the Catholic tradition.

Learn More

IPS Press Announces Last Book from the Late Benedict Ashley, O.P., A Culmination of His Life’s Work

Healing for Freedom: A Christian Perspective on Personhood and Psychotherapy

The final writings of renowned theologian and former IPS faculty member Benedict Ashley, O.P. (1915-2013), are now available in the newly released Healing for Freedom: A Christian Perspective on Personhood and Psychotherapy.

Learn More