Although the outdoor venue was different, Saint Catherine Academy Graduation 2020 was no less joyful for this year’s graduates, Ronald Scott and Elise Hilton. The two were celebrated in a ceremony at the Center with immediate family, staff, and a few classmates in attendance.

Monsignor Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown and Center Board Member, led the prayer service and offered a short homily in which he noted that even while the pandemic has taken away so much from many, it has also reminded us of what really matters in life. “You truly see the goodness of people… Certainly today is an example of that as we celebrate Elise and Ronald and the great gift that they are for each one of us, the love and joy they bring us in their own unique ways, reminding us of the preciousness and joy of life.”

Lorraine Hilton, Elise’s mother, offered Prayers of the Faithful. After the presentation of diplomas, Eric Spencer, Principal, read words of affirmation from staff about the graduates, noting Elise for her “warm, angelic smile” and Ronald for his “great spirit and enthusiasm.” Ronald was also one of several students recognized by the Diocese with the St. Thomas Aquinas award for academic improvement and exemplifying Gospel values through service to others.

In his closing prayer, Msgr. Weiss repeated the message of the scripture reading. “The message today is to be grateful,” he said. “Even in the midst of our darkest moments, to find reasons to be thankful. Certainly this holy place provides reasons for being thankful every day.”

The ceremony closed with a lively version of “This Little Light of Mine,” a Saint Catherine Academy tradition. “It was a wonderful day, in the true Saint Catherine way,” Helen Burland, Executive Director commented.

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