By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
While it wasn’t the graduation they had planned, Bishop Feehan’s Class of 2020 stood tall as they accepted their diplomas with family and friends cheering.
Due to the pandemic and subsequent limits on outdoor gatherings, a number of rules had been set for the ceremony, held on Aug. 5. Seniors could only bring four guests, and each group sat six feet apart. Masks were required. Valedictorian Audrey Bulger said the class had to miss a lot of senior milestones. But even with so much changed, they remained united through their online classes and some student gatherings.
“This does not take away our accomplishments or our opportunities,” said Bulger.
Moving forward, Bulger said the class needed to use their skills to help alleviate worldwide problems such as poverty and homelessness.
“Remember your Bishop Feehan moments so you can be grateful for them,” she said.
Bishop President Timothy Sullivan said that no graduation has been looked forward to more than this. He said that seeing the seniors back at the school, “feels like Bishop Feehan is Bishop Feehan again.” This graduation, Sullivan said, was adding another link to a chain going back 56 years, but the challenges faced made theirs an integral part. He told the graduates that they would always have a home at Bishop Feehan.
“We will be there for you forever,” he said.
The ceremony included the presentation of the Sister Patricia M. Harrington Hero of Education Award to Rev. David Costa. Sister Harrington passed away in 2015 and taught math at Bishop Feehan High School for the past 45 years. Sullivan said that Costa made every Mass personal.
“It’s clear why you’re a hero in Catholic education,” said Sullivan of Costa.
Bishop Edgar da Cunha said everyone wants the Class of 2020 to go on to the next part of their lives with the blessings and best wishes of everyone present. He said the world has been turned upside down, not just by the pandemic, but by the recent civil unrest, economic hardships, and the growing political divide.
“Our faith sheds light and guides us,” said da Cunha.
In challenging times like this, da Cunha said people have recognized that they don’t have control over what happens and to humbly place ourselves before God.
“Be prepared for the unpredictable, the unforeseen,” he said. “Trust in your family and friends and God.”
Principal Sean Kane said the sun was shining down on the Class of 2020, and that they richly deserved it. He added that this was the most unique graduation in history and that many adjustments needed to be made over the last four months.
“Graduates, you are qualified for leadership—you’ve been leading since spring,” said Kane. “You will never be ignored or forgotten.”