The end of a school year is a good time for both looking back on what has been gained, and looking forward to what is to come.
Between the awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 31st, and the graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 3rd, retrospection and anticipation have been given the center stage - quite literally, in fact - in the sermon given by Principal Fr. Dylan Flanery at the solemn high baccalaureate Mass, in the keynote address given by OLHCA 2001 graduating class alum Fr. Sean Gerrity, and in the speeches of salutatorian Timothy Gilmor and valedictorian Audrey Bushnell.
Each of these addresses examined what the students of Our Lady Help of Christians Academy are given over the course of their education, and what they must do with it in their lives after graduation.
Fr. Flanery emphasized the need, on such an occasion as graduation, for gratitude - both for the students who have completed their primary formation and are now setting out in the world, and from those same students, for the formation that they have received.
Fr. Gerrity cautioned the students about the dangers they would face and advised them to practice true humility in the eyes of God.
Salutatorian Timothy Gilmor and valedictorian Audrey Bushnell followed the priests' comments with their own expressions of gratitude and calls to action from their fellow graduates.
Finally, all speaking was completed, the diplomas were presented, and the graduates flipped their tassels. The ceremony ended with the singing of the school song, "Non Nobis Domine," and the graduates tossing their caps.
Following the end of the ceremony, the celebrations began back at the church. Despite the cold, wet, and dreary weather, the party continued largely as normal. Students huddled together signing each other's yearbooks and passed around graduation gifts as the storm continued outside. A little rain did not stop those who wanted to play sports, however. While many elected to stay dry in the basement and enjoy a cup of hot coffee and a plate of the wonderful pulled pork supplied by the families of the graduates, the students and recent graduates were undeterred, and the basketball and volleyball games continued on as normal.
Congratulations to all of the graduates! The staff and students of Our Lady Help of Christians Academy will keep you all your future endeavors in our prayers.