Ite filia!

That’s Latin for “You go, girl!” in case you were wondering.

I first read about this via Dorian Speed over at Scrutinies, and she read about it via Deacon Greg Kandra at The Deacon’s Bench blog. The more I thought about this, the cooler and more worthy of a mention it seemed.

Every year, Harvard University sponsors a speech writing competition for graduating seniors. Winners get to deliver their orations to the assembled faculty and student body during Spring commencement exercises. By tradition, one speech is given in Latin, and this year’s Latin winner was Mary Ann Marks of Queens, N.Y., a double major in classics and English. This fall Miss Marks will enter the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Think of it! A Harvard grad and Latin scholar chooses to serve God as a nun! Score one for our team! Here’s her oration as posted on YouTube:

Here’s the Latin text and English translation. She seems to be truly enjoying herself as she delivers this speech. You can see that same sense of fun in the impish smile on her face in this picture from the Harvard Gazette:

May God bless you as you pursue this vocation, Miss Marks. The Dominicans will be richer for your erudition, enthusiasm, and skill put to work for the service of the Church. Deacon Greg asked his readers how one might say, “You go, girl!” in Latin, and someone suggested “Ite filia!” I heartily agree. Salve!

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