Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School celebrated the Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises for the Class of 2020 this past Sunday, June 28, 2020. Although delayed by a month and modified in various ways, the school community gathered at Sts. John and Paul Church in Wexford, PA to honor the 77 young men and women in the graduating class.
In order to adhere to guidelines put in place by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the ceremony was limited to a maximum of 250 people, meaning that only graduating seniors, their parent(s), and faculty/staff were invited to attend. However, the event was live-streamed for family and friends who wanted to view the festivities from home.
Donning special “OLSH Class of 2020” face masks donated by a mother of one of the graduates, each student sat with his or her parents for the entirety of the ceremony. Families were spaced apart in their pews to allow for social distancing.
Mass was celebrated by OLSH Chaplain Fr. Bill Dorner, and included a blessing of the graduates. After Mass, the graduates lined up for the Commencement Procession. The ceremony included speeches by class president Evan Kormick, salutatorian Francesca Taylor, and co-valedictorians Brock Saftner and Matthew Tanczos. The ceremony concluded with a memorable rendition of the OLSH Alma Mater led by Sr. M. Francine Horos ‘68.
Although the students were not able to take the traditional group photo in the OLSH courtyard, the decision was made to re-create the original graduating class composite portraits.
The OLSH Class of 2020 has been called “special” for several reasons – their experience of missing out on the last 3 months of their high school career being only one of those factors. This class boasts an excellent academic record with 1/3 earning a 4.0 gpa or higher; 38 seniors earning the President’s Award for Educational Excellence; 4 students named National Merit Commended Students and one named as a National Merit Finalist. The class was offered over $15 million in scholarships and grants. Additionally, students in this graduating class achieved section, league, state and national championships in sports; All State and local awards in theater arts; as well as countless other distinctions in visual, performing, and digital arts.
We are so grateful to Fr. Jay Donahue and the staff at Sts. John and Paul for allowing us to have our ceremony at their facility.
A video of the livestream from the event can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?