PROVIDENCE — “Hawks” took flight during Bishop Hendricken High School’s 56th graduation ceremony at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on Wednesday, June 7.
Celebrating their Catholic values and a tradition of excellence, salutatorian Derek Byrne offered his gratitude for the dedicated time of his teachers and faculty, the unparalleled encouragement of his parents and the perseverance and commitment of his classmates.
“I have received the inspiration and drive to conquer every challenge and uphold the reverence for human dignity that has made me the man I am today,” said Byrne. “I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for Bishop Hendricken’s shaping of my character, which will carry me forward in my journey to live a vocational life dedicated to my distinct path.”
Valedictorian Giancarlo Gentili said that if he could sum up his high school experience in one word — it would be growth.
“When I look back on the timid introvert who first stepped foot into Hendricken, who had never even considered attending let alone standing here today, I am amazed at the changes that took place, and I know all of you feel the same way,” he said. “I’m smarter, stronger, braver and wiser, but most importantly, I’m a better person. We have learned and experienced things here that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.
Gentili added that from his first day until this very moment, every second spent at Hendricken has been unique.
“Every practice, every rehearsal, and even every test is a moment in time you will never get to experience again. Hold these moments close to your heart, and always remember: Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!”
In his words to the graduating class, President John Jackson encouraged the young men to remain close to their Catholic faith and prayer life, adding that he knows that Bishop Thomas F. Hendricken would be so very proud of his school.
“Hopefully, after four years of a Bishop Hendricken education, you know that Jesus is always with you and that you continue to pray as you enter adulthood that Jesus does live in your hearts.”