The Villa Maria Academy Class of 2022 celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass and graduation on Thursday, June 2, at Saints Simon and Jude Church.
Rev. Christopher Redcay, pastor of St. Patrick in Malvern, was the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass. Using the children’s book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? as his theme, Fr. Redcay urged the students to make he most of their next four years with new experiences and friendships.
After Mass, salutatorian Elizabeth O’Connell took the theme of musical playlists and High School Musical, connecting class memories made over four years to the songs they listened to. “We truly lived out High School Musical during Senior Sing as we said our final goodbyes to each class and now to this chapter of our lives,” she said. “We will carry these memories and more with us forever, and they will be a constant reminder of the love shared within the walls of Villa Maria Academy.”
Principal Sr. Regina Ryan presented honorary diplomas to this year’s “Golden Grads,” Class of 1972 alumnae celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Villa Maria. Sr. Regina then presented diplomas to the members of the Class of 2022.
Valedictorian Christina Janowicz urged her classmates to see their own strengths. “What do I have to say to the you, Class of 2022, during your final moments at graduation? It’s simple, but here it is: In a quote adapted from Winnie the Pooh, ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.’”
Christina pointed out that the friendships the girls had formed at Villa support her thesis. “I want each of you to think about one or two of your close friends from Villa,” she said. “Think about what you appreciate about them. Think about how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Now, consider that many of your classmates are thinking those exact things about you. This is what I mean when I say you are loved more than you know, because, truly, you are.”
The ceremony closed with the singing of the senior class song, “Pinky Promise,” with music and lyrics written by senior Jocelyn Ann Wolfe. 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.