The Frances Xavier Warde School held Commencement for the Class of 2021 in-person in Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday, June 13, with a ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of students and marked the challenges of the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ceremonial robes, mortarboards and masks were the accessories of the day, but we celebrate the fact that what was originally scheduled to be two socially distanced ceremonies became one. Commencement was also streamed live so students, families and friends from all over could watch our eighty-seven Grade 8 students take their final walk through the hallowed sanctuary of our beloved HNC as students before becoming alumni.
We were together, gathered through creative planning, technological assistance, the tireless work of many incredible administrators, faculty and staff, and a fierce determination to mark with physical presence this important moment in the lives of our Grade 8 families and the FXW community. The losses inflicted by COVID-19 have undoubtedly differed significantly from person to person and family to family. They have also differed across racial and economic groups, reminding us once again of the need to dedicate ourselves to achieving genuine social justice, not only in our communities but around the world. The pandemic has truly made evident the importance of community, especially the FXW community.
Simply put, our rollercoaster year, complete with unwelcome separation teaches us this: to relate to one another not just as faces in Zoom boxes, but also as real, three-dimensional people who share basic needs and a common humanity. We must all recover, renew and reinvigorate the human forms of connection so missing from our world over the last year and all too absent, even before the pandemic, from our country’s conversations about America’s common good. As we venture forth from campus this week into Juneteenth and Independence Day celebrations, it is our hope that we will all seize the opportunity to build the genuine community, both in and around us, that we so urgently need.
Congratulations, Graduates! It is your time to celebrate and be the change we need in your respective high school communities.
—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration