PROVIDENCE — St. Patrick Church was a scene of great emotion on Saturday, June 10, as graduates of St. Patrick Academy processed into the church for the final time as the Class of 2017.
Pastor Father James Ruggieri offered the invocation, and Principal Bruce Daigle welcomed all those gathered for the graduation exercises. The commencement address was offered by the newly-ordained Father Jean Joseph Brice, who encouraged the graduates to spend at least 15 minutes per day in silence before the Lord as they moved on to their colleges and careers.
“Your generation and my generation is facing a dictatorship of noise,” he said. “Silence is the remedy against that.”
Faith also featured prominently in the speeches of Salutatorian Nelly Durand and Valedictorian Naleen Camara, both of whom offered heartfelt addresses to their classmates and families. Durand extended her gratitude to her mother for raising her as a Catholic and serving as her role model, while Camara, a practicing Muslim, said the spirituality of her classmates and her senior year World Religions class encouraged her to further explore her own faith.
“Seeing the dedication others had to their faith inspired me to mimic their actions and decide to do something about my relationship with God,” she said.
The school’s highest honors were awarded during the ceremony, including the NACEPF Leadership Award, presented to Nelly Durand, the St. Patrick Award, presented to Naleen Camara, and the St. Francis of Assisi Award, presented for the first time this year to Nayeli Soriano.