PROVIDENCE — Before proud family and friends, 123 seniors of St. Raphael Academy, donned in purple and gold, took part in their commencement celebrations at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Sunday, June 11.
Academy chaplain Rev. Carl Fisette offered the opening prayer, followed by a welcome by Vice Principal of Academics Judy Baxter, who called the graduates “an outstanding class, academically, athletically, socially and spiritually.”
Salutatorian Emily Craig shared the inspiring words of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who once said, “You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.”
“We are not who we are today because we only let half of us shine through,” said Craig. “We are here, graduating today because we faced the challenges of our high school years—we did the things that couldn’t be done only because we lived as whole saints.”
Principal Dan Richard, presented the diplomas to the graduates, along with The Most Reverend Robert C. Evans, D.D., J.C.L., Auxiliary Bishop of Providence, and Dan Ferris, superintendent of Catholic Schools. Following the presentation of the final diploma, senior members of the SRA Liturgical Choir and Gala Chorus, filled the cathedral with a performance of “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5.
In his address, Valedictorian Anthony Bateman reminded the Class of 2017, that during this time of transition, God has a plan in store for everyone.
“Sometimes we might think we know what that is and sometimes we might have no idea at all. The most important thing to realize is that there is no rush to figure things out. If we have patience with ourselves and with others there is no limit to what we can accomplish,” he shared. “When you’re finding your way, remember what Saints has taught us. Always look out for one another and always speak up for what is right. Life is going to challenge us along the way, however, no matter what it throws at us, we were all meant to do great things.”