Charles Parson `20

Hello, my name is Charles Parson and I have the honor of giving the reflection here at ring mass. These rings we received today are more than just tokens of our time at Salesianum. The ring is a symbol of commitment. But not commitment to the physical building of Salesianum. Instead we are committing to the values and ideas we learned during our time here. What makes sallies special isn’t the banners on the wall or the accomplishments we have.

Sallies is unique because of the values we learn here and carry with us. Tonight, I want to focus on two Salesian values that have changed the way I see myself. The first is hard work. There were times for me when the balance between schoolwork and basketball became overwhelming. I struggled managing homework, projects, and papers with practice. I had to learn the hard way after a few missing assignments that the only way forward was to really focus and push through. I learned a lesson that with focus I could do anything I set my mind to. The second is being your own person and remaining true to yourself. Saint Francis de Sales said, “Do not lose courage considering your own imperfections.” Early in my career at Salesianum I battled with self-identity. I worried too much about being the person everyone expected me to be and whether some of my flaws would tarnish this image. I put myself into a box that didn’t fit me at all. Overtime I grew to understand that to feel good I had to be 100% me. I also asked myself a lot how I was going to create my own legacy at Sallies.

My father went here and continues to build his legacy by doing many great things. He’s involved in the Alumni Association, was active on the board, and can be spotted at almost every major event tied to Salesianum. I was trying to be my own person away from my fathers shadow. I did that by doing my own thing here at Salesianum. I ran and won a spot on student council, became a leader on the basketball team, and organized and ran middle school speech completion here at Salesianum that hadn’t been done in the school’s history until last year. these are all things I am proud of and that will leave a mark here at school. There was one thing my dad told me before I started as a freshman that I’ll never forget. He said no matter where you go after you graduate, always stay connected with your brothers from Sallies and what you learn here. He wasn’t talking about math equations we learn in pre-calc, or the vocabulary words from English class. He was talking about truly living a Salesian life. That is what I am challenging you all with today. Use the values we learn and embody them in every facet of your life. By living the values we talk about every day, you remain committed and connected to Salesianum. Let these rings serve as a reminder of that.