Catholic Free Press

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  • Apr
  • 27

Seniors honored with citations scholarships

Posted By April 27, 2017 | 12:39 pm | Featured Article #3
adopt _ AlexusRondeauAMC

By Tanya Connor | The Catholic Free Press

Transformative for time and eternity.
That’s the kind of education a school must provide in order to be authentically Catholic, Bishop McManus said at the 10th annual Adopt-A-Student dinner, held April 6 at Mechanics Hall.adoptStudentWEB
An authentically Catholic school must also provide an education that motivates its students to pursue, and love for a life-time, what is good, true and beautiful, he said. In doing that, “we will find God, who alone can make us truly free and truly human,” he said.
The dinner and its silent auction raise money for the Adopt-A-Student program to provide financial assistance to students in the diocese’s four central Catholic schools.
At the dinner, four seniors were given recognition awards and pictures of their activities were shown on a large screen. All seniors in the program were given the opportunity to recognize someone who inspires them. (Students at St. Peter Central Catholic Elementary in Worcester attend, but do not receive awards.)
adopt BrittanyGibbonsBrittany Gibbons, from St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High in Fitchburg, received the Bill & Kay O’Brien Award for Best Exemplifying the Values of the Adopt-A-Student Program. She recognized her sister, Alexis Gibbons, as her influential person.
The annual film about one of the award winners featured Brittany. Stephen Kaufman, programming manager for the diocesan Office of Communications, made it, inspired by Brittany’s involvement in the daily STBTV news program at St. Bernard’s.
“It means a lot to me to be acknowledged,” Brittany told The Catholic Free Press.
Adopt_NormaMakiaBrown“I’m very thankful and grateful to have this opportunity,” said Makia Brown, who received the Wilfred & Bette Iandoli Award for Service and recognized her grandmother Norma Brown. “It really does mean a lot to me. I grew up in Catholic school.” She attended St. Peter’s and is now sad to leave Holy Name Central Catholic Junior/Senior High after graduation.
She said she especially wanted to thank Kay O’Brien, for whom another award is named, who checked on her and other scholarship recipients at St. Peter’s.
“I cried the day she said she wasn’t going to do it anymore,” Meg Kursonis, St. Peter’s headmaster, said of Mrs. O’Brien ending her service there. “I was sad for my kids,” whose families Mrs. O’Brien also checked on. “But she was no nonsense. She would say, ‘That grade went down,’ and then she’d wait for an explanation.”
Holy Name senior Naomi Watkins received the Charles & Beth McManus Award for Academic Excellence.
adopt HazelFlynnNaomiWatkins“I didn’t expect it at all,” Naomi said. “I was already proud of myself.… I’m humbled.”
Her influential person – her mother, Hazel Flynn – apparently helped shape her attitude.
“She’s been very supportive of me,” Naomi said. “At times I’ve doubted myself. She tells me everything will work out.”
adopt _ RebeccaGilchristRebecca Gilchrist, from St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic Junior/Senior High, received the Paul and Dorothy Kervick Award for Leadership. She recognized William Driscoll, her assistant principal, Adopt-A-Student committee member and emcee for the evening.
“Schools in the Diocese of Worcester are proud to evangelize and embrace the Holy Spirit in all of our endeavors,” Mr. Driscoll told attendees. “We advance the Catholic belief that education must be directed toward the whole person, not just academics.”
Delma L. Josephson, retiring superintendent of schools for the diocese, also received a recognition for her work. She plans to continue helping with Catholic education in the diocese.
Two Holy Name seniors in the Adopt-A-Student program received four-year, full-tuition scholarships: Joshua Corrigan from Assumption College’s president, Francesco Cesareo, and Alexus Rondeau from Anna Maria College’s president, Mary Lou Retelle.
“That was my top pick,” Joshua said of Assumption. He recalled receiving the news.
“I was so ecstatic!” he said. “I was beyond words. It’s such an honor and privilege … to walk out of high school debt free for college.” When he told his parents, at first they didn’t believe him, he said.
Joshua recognized his associate pastor, Father Donato Infante III, of St. Joseph Parish in Charlton, as his inspiring person. Alexus recognized her mother, Cathy Rondeau.
As these students move on, the Adopt-A-Student program continues to finance others.
This year the dinner raised about $80,000, said Robert R. Pape, Adopt-A-Student chairman. Now in its 28th year, the program has given more than 1,250 scholarships totaling more than $3,800,000, he said.
At the dinner retired Bishop Rueger gave the invocation, the Holy Name Jazz Combo provided music, and Adopt-A-Student leaders,adopt_8658JoshuaCorriganAssumFam and graduate William J. King Jr. spoke.
Bishop McManus talked about why Catholic schools must be Christ-centered and provide a transformative education that motivates students to pursue what is good, true and beautiful.
He told of a theologian wanting students to learn that “Jesus Christ is the meaning of life, history and the cosmos.”
He recalled Pope Benedict XVI saying, “Every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.… And those who meet Christ will be drawn to lead a new life that is characterized by all that is beautiful, good and true.”
Speaking of a transformative education, Bishop McManus pointed to the Adopt-A-Student motto: “Adopt-A-Student – Change a Life.”
He recalled the Baltimore Catechism’s teaching: “God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world so as to be happy with Him in Heaven.” When people know who they are and why they exist, they are transformed, the bishop said.
Theologians said many of their students seem to lack a coherent reason for living and therefore do not have a sense of hope, he said.
“A Catholic education seeks to provide a coherent vision of life, both for time and eternity,” to help students be attentive to who and what is around them, to search for the good, true and beautiful in religion, art and science, he said.
Today’s culture has largely abandoned the conviction that objective truth and morality exist, “yet our faith teaches, and science corroborates, that we did not make the world;” it’s not a construction of the human mind, Bishop McManus said.
“Our Catholic intellectual tradition celebrates the fact that there is a profoundly harmonious relationship between faith and reason,” he noted. The source of all truth is God.adopt_8567Jazz