St. Joseph’s Academy held its traditional May Crowning ceremony on May 1 on the Batchelor Terrace and orchard. Senior Jade Woods was chosen by her classmates, the faculty and staff to crown Mary. She was assisted by seniors Megan Gremillion, Alexa Gutowski, Kennedy Benjamin, Emily Shore, Kennedy Walker, Clare Barfield, Vivian Brown, Caroline Cotten, Juliet Alise and Barbara Flandez.
SJA Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large gathering and explained that the 11 seniors participating in the ceremony were chosen because they demonstrate honesty, integrity, a strong moral character, a genuine responsiveness to the needs of the dear neighbor and a commitment to their Catholic faith.
Gremillion explained that the month of May has traditionally been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom she described as a young Jewish woman who responded so completely to God. “In many ways, Mary was like you and me, but what made her exceptional was her openness to God and to His Spirit leading her life,” she said. “Perhaps it was for this reason she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.”
Gutowski led the gathering in prayer, while Benjamin, Shore and Walker reflected on Mary as she is portrayed in the Gospels. Barfield offered a prayer, and Brown and Cotten read from the Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. Alise offered a prayer, then Wood crowned Mary. Flandez closed the ceremony with a reading from Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s book, Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints.
Senior Macy Heroman led the singing of the alma mater.
Members of the Liturgy Choir, under the direction of Amie Cronan, lent their musical gifts to the ceremony. Senior Gabbie Taylor was the pianist.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine