The OLSH Class of 2023 celebrated their faith together one final time in the OLSH Chapel on Thursday night at the Baccalaureate Mass. On Sunday, the class donned their caps and gowns to attend the 89th annual Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School Commencement Ceremony. Friends and family packed the Angela Activities Center to support their favorite graduates.
OLSH faculty and staff led a procession of the graduates into the gym. Senior siblings Gino Williams '25, Evelyn Perry '25, and Margaret Mary Sweeney '25 carried flags in at the front of the procession. To kick off the ceremony, senior class president Austin Hansen led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. He later gave a speech in which he acknowledged that OLSH has become his home. Austin is among 14 OLSH graduates who attended Quigley Catholic High School their freshman year. Upon Quigley’s closing, these students quickly found a home at OLSH, becoming involved in extracurriculars and excelling in the classroom. Though they had lost the school that they loved, Austin and his classmates found that at OLSH, “There are countless people who truly care about us and our future. As a class, throughout our high school journey at OLSH, we have all been blessed with countless beacons of guidance.”
Salutatorian Abby Wertz took the stage to thank her fellow classmates for challenging her and shaping her into the person she is today. She encouraged them to bask in the moment, saying “It is in our nature to continuously strive towards the next big event that will take place. To be blind to the simple beauties life has to offer in hopes of a greater one, is doing ourselves a disservice. Each and every moment matters. That is especially true during this chapter of our lives.” She then went on to challenge everyone to “View life as a million tiny miracles woven together to form a larger piece of art. Take a moment each and every day to take in your surroundings and find just a few tiny miracles.”
Class of 2023 Valedictorian James Saftner took his turn at the podium, reflecting on the fact that it’s not the accolades that make OLSH special – it’s the people. “In my experience, the very best moments of my time here at OLSH were times spent making and developing friendships with all of you. Whether it be talking and sharing laughs between school and practice, or making connections in faith at Chi Rho, or just simply hanging out with friends, it was you all that really made OLSH feel like home,” he said.
Mr. Pontiere’s Concert Choir performed two selections at the ceremony: Jubilate Deo (Be Joyful in the Lord), accompanied by senior Matthew McDevitt, and May the Road Rise up to Meet You, accompanied by senior Peter Sweeney.
Rachael Wallover, English teacher and member of the OLSH Class of 2007, welcomed our new alumni and reminded them that the connections they made at OLSH will last a lifetime, and that we are only a phone call or an email away.
Peter Sweeney accompanied Sr. M. Francine Horos ‘68 on piano as she led the singing of the Alma Mater before the graduates processed out of the gym to be greeted by a tunnel of faculty and staff members waiting to say goodbye. Guests gathered in the auxiliary gym and outside after the ceremony to take pictures. The day was a beautiful celebration of our newest graduates!