BATESVILLE — Temperatures were high outside May 27, but the excitement was even higher inside the Sisters of St. Francis Chapel, Oldenburg, as family and friends gathered to celebrate the graduation ceremony of 43 Oldenburg Academy seniors.
The class was welcomed by camera flashes and smiles as they processed in to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the OA orchestra.
Members of the Class of 2012 participated in the Mass as lectors, cantors and gift bearers.
In his homily, the Rev. Peter Gallagher said it was appropriate that Pentecost Sunday fell on graduation day. “The Holy Spirit drives us to do good ... and be of service to others. It’s that spirit that got you through the last exam, the last paper, the last application to college.”
He challenged the class to “share their gifts with others .... Today we’re here to celebrate your accomplishments, but always remember as you move on to stay close to your faith.”
In her salutatorian speech, Dana Maslar announced, “Although we are proud of all that we have accomplished and are eager to start a new chapter in our lives, it is with much sorrow that we must leave behind the ’Burg .... Take with you the lessons you’ve learned and bring the Oldenburg in you to wherever you go.
“Take with you your ambition, motivation, originality and faith. Continue to be ambitious. Never limit yourself. You can only be as successful as you allow yourself to be, so don’t be afraid to be passionate and committed in all that you do.”
Valedictorian Meredith Goodall pointed out, “Regardless of how you feel about high school now that your time at OA has ended, whether in your mind it is positive or negative, I know each of you has been left with an indelible mark by the school. .... Each of us carries a unique experience because we graduated from OA, an experience you cannot forget because it has helped shape who you are today.
“What you decide to do with the experience is up to you. God has given you this time at OA for a reason. It is up to you, finally you and not your parents or teachers, to decide what the reason is. You don’t have to do anything, but you have the possibility to do everything.”
Class President Alex Abrams led his classmates in the turning of the tassels as they officially became graduates. After leaving the chapel, hats flew as the celebration of the completion of their high school years began.
Steve Hornberger, whose oldest son Adam graduated, said he was very emotional. “The world is his right now. He has every opportunity.”
Rahe Ann Bergman was happy for youngest daughter Charlotte. “I hope she keeps her head on straight and makes all her dreams come true.”