The Villa Maria Academy Class of 2018 celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass and graduation on Saturday, June 2, at Saints Simon and Jude Church.
Reverend James R. DeGrassa was the principle celebrant and homilist for the Mass. After the service, Salutatorian Sydney Belej gave the salutatory address. Belej cited the accomplishments of her classmates in sports, the arts, and academics, and recalled the many Villa traditions they had enjoyed. “Let us enjoy the last Mass, the last hugs, the last laughs, the last smiles, and maybe the last tears together as the Class of 2018,” she urged.
Principal Sr. Regina Ryan presented honorary diplomas to this year’s “Golden Girls,” Class of 1968 alumnae celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Villa Maria. Sr. Regina then presented diplomas to the members of the Class of 2018. Valedictorian Erin Finley addressed her classmates, citing one of her grandfather’s favorite sayings, “Anyone can beat anyone on any given day.” Finley said that the students’ daily ups and downs through four years prove that they are capable of anything. “We learned that we can beat any problem, any situation, or any dilemma because of the preparation that Villa has given us over these past four years,” she said. Finley closed by telling her classmates, “You have the power to make every day a win, 2018. Laugh, cry, think, thank God for each moment, and take over the world.”
The ceremony closed with the singing of the senior class song, “Blink of an Eye,” written by seniors Faith Prince, Julia Ayres, and Caroline Morris. The new alumnae were then joined by other alumnae in the audience, along with faculty and staff, in singing the Alma Mater, before leaving the church to join their families for picture taking and celebrations.