Eighth grade grads: Closing one door, opening another
By EmmaLee Italia, Correspondent
Bringing their elementary and middle school experiences to a close, 1,269 eighth graders graduated this June from the Diocese of Trenton’s 34 Catholic elementary schools.
To view photos from St. Charles Borromeo, Cinnaminson, Graduation, click here.
To view photos from Holy Cross, Rumson, Graduation, click here.
No small task, these future high schoolers are “called to live a life of virtue to benefit our world,” said JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools.
“An eighth grade graduation presents a time to reflect on the impact their Catholic school education has had in forming them in their faith-life, in academic success and in applying their learning to make sound decisions as life unfolds,” Tier elaborated.
Holy Cross School, Rumson, and St. Charles Borromeo School, Cinnaminson, joined Catholic schools across the Diocese in holding Baccalaureate Masses and commencement exercises. Holy Cross graduated 45 eighth graders June 2, and 28 graduated from St. Charles on June 8, the latter including two sets of twins. Father Micheal Manning, pastor of Holy Cross Parish, and Father Daniel E. Kirk, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, celebrated their respective parish schools’ Baccalaureate Masses just prior to commencement. Many graduates from both schools plan to attend area Catholic high schools next year.
“Our world benefits from students being educated in the Catholic faith,” Tier noted. “Catholic school students are called to a higher standard – to live the teachings of Jesus. [They] are challenged to recognize the face of God in those whom they meet.”
For the graduates, the Catholic school experience has allowed them not only to excel academically, but also to grow spiritually.
“How do we know where [we are going]? God will guide us,” said Holy Cross student council president Thomas Makin, during commencement. “It is our job to continue to put faith, trust and prayer first in our lives.”
In Catholic school, “students know that they are loved and respected. They are supported by their administrators and teachers,” Tier said. “Their learning has unfolded not only from textbooks, but also from life-experiences that often provide the most significant learning. Students have the confidence to be learners, as well as leaders.”