Fifty-three seniors graduate from Saint Bernard School

The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 processes from the parish hall outside for the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 processes from the parish hall outside for the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Norwich — The 53 seniors who graduated from Saint Bernard School on Friday evening are heading in many different directions — to colleges on the east and west coasts, in Canada and Singapore, and into the military and full-time jobs.

But regardless of their future paths, they will all take with them the charge to live by the principles of altruism instilled in them at Saint Bernard, said Emily De La Cruz of New London, the class orator for the ceremonies at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick.

It was the 58th commencement ceremony for the Catholic school, located in Montville.

At Saint Bernard, she said, she learned that, “It’s not about me, that the world needs me. I am part of the bigger picture.” 

“As we’ve grown, we have added, changed and discarded many ideas to get to where we are today,” she said. “We learned many things in high school ... graduating means using your Saint Bernard education to be successful, to give back to the community that we’ve come from, and to continuously challenge the impossible.”

"How lucky I am," she concluded, "to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

During his remarks, the Rev. Monsignor Robert Brown, chancellor of the Diocese of Norwich, also urged the graduates to live lives of service to others.

“In the words of Pope Francis, don’t be wrapped up in yourselves,” Brown said. “But open your hearts to others, especially those in need."

"Catholic education teaches us to have a big heart and greatness of soul, and to do everything with hearts open to God and open to others,” he said.

The graduating class included more than a dozen students from China, most of whom did not attend the ceremony but were conferred diplomas “in abstentia” when their names were announced by Ann Griffin, assistant headmaster.

Also among the class were five students whose parents were alumna of the school.

Headmaster Donald Macrino told the students that the graduation marks the beginning of their adulthood.

“Respect yourself and your family, and charge into the future and make it better,” he told them.

j.benson@theday.com

With her niece Olivia Pope, 4, looking on, Victoria LaVista snaps a photo as her sister Dominique LaVista marches in for the Saint Bernard School's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
With her niece Olivia Pope, 4, looking on, Victoria LaVista snaps a photo as her sister Dominique LaVista marches in for the Saint Bernard School's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 poses for one last photo together after graduating in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 poses for one last photo together after graduating in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 flips their tassels in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 flips their tassels in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Kaelin Smith, center, takes a photo with Ian Violette, left, and Alexandria Belisle as the Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 prepares to graduate in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Kaelin Smith, center, takes a photo with Ian Violette, left, and Alexandria Belisle as the Saint Bernard School Class of 2016 prepares to graduate in the school's 58th commencement ceremony Friday, May 27, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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