COLUMBUS — Father Matthew Capadano sprinkled in a few laugh lines during his homily at Scotus Central Catholic’s commencement ceremony Sunday, but he left the graduates with an inspiring message for their future.

Jesus will always be with you.

Capadano told the 63 Shamrock seniors they would leave Sunday’s ceremony to head to graduation parties, then college or careers, and be on their own for the first time while exploring new experiences, but one constant will remain.

“It’s not a thing, it’s a person,” Capadano said. “It’s Jesus. It’s the one promise God makes to you. So go live, let him be your security.”

The father said the Catholic Church will always be somewhere in their lives.

Capadano, who also delivered the blessing for the graduates, congratulated the students for being leaders from the very beginning of the 2016-17 school year last fall.

“You guys have been a lot of fun,” said Capadano, noting that this year’s seniors began easing the transition for seventh-graders into the junior/senior high school as soon as classes got underway.

“You seniors set the tone. You made sure seventh-graders were comfortable, cracking jokes and laughing with them,” Capadano said. “You’re awesome.”

The father began his remarks by teasing the student speaker who preceded him at the podium.

“That girl hit my car yesterday,” said Capadano, drawing laughs from the graduating class and their families and friends who filled the Dowd Activity Center.

During the ceremony, several annual awards were presented.

Awarded the Scotus Alumnus of the Year were Todd and Lisa Duren, both Class of 1985.

Todd has served on the Scotus school board, is the current alumni basketball tourney committee chairman and a past president of the Shamrock Club.

Lisa is a 1985 Spirit of Scotus award winner and served two years on the school board. She’s a member of the alumni volleyball committee and Scotus Mothers Club and past Scotus cheerleading sponsor.

Pat Sackett, a 1972 Scotus grad, received the Outstanding Service Award, an honor that recognizes involvement in the parish, community and schools.

Sackett served multiple terms on the school board and was heavily involved in strategic planning that led to more than $2 million in improvements to school facilities. A professional electrician, Sackett has been available for expert advice on facility needs.

He and his wife, Cindy, have been active supporters of Scotus fundraising activities.

Graduate Mitchell Halligan, who will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and major in secondary education, was honored with the Spirit of Scotus Award.

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