|St. Joseph’s Academy gathered as a community on May 4 for the traditional Senior Mass, celebrated by Father Joseph Vu, parochial vicar at St. Anne, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Philomena parishes. |
Senior Jane Avery Price welcomed the large gathering of students, parents, faculty/staff, administrators and Sisters of St. Joseph to the Eucharistic celebration in the Activity Center. Senior Molly Shepherd read from the Acts of the Apostles. Seniors Claire Colomb and Marigny Broussard led the prayers of the faithful.
In his homily, Father Joseph implored the seniors to aim high in everything they do. “When you do, you will succeed,” he said, adding that success also comes through hard work, dedication, commitment and the support of family and friends.
At the conclusion of mass, Megan Gremillion, senior class president, spoke about her classmates’ growth over the past four years and the ways in which they reflect their class mascot, the turtle. “Just like turtles, we have shells to keep us safe,” she said. “However, unlike turtles, our shells are comprised of the bonds we have with one another. We are always there for our fellow classmates which, in my opinion, is what makes our school so special. Here we are, saying goodbye to the protective shell that is SJA. Our shell has allowed us to pursue knowledge, discover our passions and grow into women for others through servant leadership.”
She thanked the faculty and staff for their daily encouragement and support. “You have molded us into the women we are today, and for that, we will eternally thank you,” she said. “This is a special place because of your dedication, hard work and embodiment of the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.”
Gremillion announced that the senior class gift is a commemorative garden that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of SJA’s founding in 1868. The area for rest and reflection will feature the original gate from SJA’s location on the corner of Fourth and Florida streets in downtown Baton Rouge, a landscaped garden, benches and a plaque. In addition, the class will give the school a statue of St. Joseph to use in assemblies.
Principal Stacia Andricain said the seniors have graced SJA with their presence and have become young women for others. “I look out into the audience, and I see so many dreams to be fulfilled,” she said. “Dreams of being counselors, physicists, accountants, wives, mothers, engineers, writers, President and even future teachers at SJA. I thank you for allowing us, the administration, faculty and staff, along with your parents, to lay the foundation for your future. It has been an honor.”
Senior Madeline Territo led the singing of the alma mater.
Aimee Cronan directed the Liturgy Choir. Seniors Hannah Miletello and Meredith Giles were the cantors. Musical accompanists were Michael McDowell and senior Gabbie Taylor, piano; Hugo Andricain, guitar; Alan LeCoq, bass; and Stephen Barrios, percussion.
Hugo Andricain is SJA’s liturgy coordinator.
Following mass, seniors and their parents gathered on the Batchelor Terrace and in the SJA orchard to enjoy the annual Senior Reception, hosted by the SJA Mothers’ Club.
Jean Couvillion served as chairperson of the Senior Reception Committee. Co-chair was Lisa Guarisco. Monte Brown is Mothers’ Club president.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine