Pushing forward with purpose, HCPA grads told ‘Christ is always with you’
For Holy Cross Preparatory Academy’s Class of 2023, four years filled with camaraderie and challenges came to a close June 4 as the 79 graduates of the Delran school gathered in Tom Reilly Stadium one last time to close one chapter and open a new one.
The HCPA graduates are already well on their way to higher education and beyond, with over $20 million in scholarships awarded – including two students with $400,000 scholarships to West Point Academy – and 300 college credits earned across the class.
PHOTO GALLERY: Holy Cross Prep Baccalaureate Mass
PHOTO GALLERY: Holy Cross Prep Graduation
Acknowledging both the “enjoyable memories” and the challenges, valedictorian Alexandra Oshidar noted the class’s resiliency in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which spanned much of their high school years.
Oshidar’s mother, Sharon, said the school’s attributes that most affected the decision to send her daughter to HCPA included the “challenging, innovative curriculum and expanded program of studies, as well as the … collegiate block scheduling which prepares students for their future academic careers.”
Most importantly, however, was that the school “teaches and embodies a faith-based and community-oriented education,” she continued. “Alongside all HCPA’s educational and technological advancements, the school remains faithful to their Catholic identity… I hope my daughter’s faith will allow her to face the challenges of life and gain the assurance that God is guiding and enabling her to succeed in life, as well as enabling her to overcome obstacles that arise in life’s paths.”
Father Christopher Colavito celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass in the school courtyard June 2, and reminded students in his homily that “although you will be scattered from this point forward, you are never alone.”
Drawing upon Readings from May 22, Father Colavito emphasized that “Christ is always with you, and you are called to be his light to the nations – no matter where you go and what you do. And hopefully Holy Cross has had a hand in preparing you to do so.”
During Commencement, the school yearbook was dedicated to theology teacher Hope Blanch. Parents who were also alumni of HCPA were invited to give their graduates their diplomas – along with hugs, high-fives and fist bumps. Four members of the Class of 1973 had seats of honor on the field celebrating their 50th anniversary next to their class flag.
“Catholic education has been a part of us since we were young … We wanted [our children] to be in a school where faith-based values were a key part of the curriculum especially during those teenage years,” said Angie Wojnar, mother of Tyler Wojnar, salutatorian.
“I truly hope all of our children have learned the value of service, kindness, compassion and respect toward others,” she continued. “No matter what you do in life, these are values that you can apply to all parts of your life and can truly inspire others to do the same.”