Notre Dame graduates cement place in school’s legacy

By Brittany Wilson | Correspondent

PROUD PARENTS • Lydia Moody, right, poses for a photo with her parents, Barbara and Jeff, both NDHS legacy graduates. John Blaine photo

Notre Dame High School’s rich legacy of faith, knowledge and service was celebrated June 10 as the 261 members of the Class of 2018 turned their tassels and prepared to embark on new beginnings. A baccalaureate Mass was celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., June 9, in Notre Dame Auditorium.

Photo Gallery: Notre Dame High’s Graduation 2018

Photo Gallery: Notre Dame High’s Baccalaureate Mass 2018

“We are all on the starting line of a new journey,” valedictorian Jennifer L. Harris said to her classmates, as well as hundreds of family members and friends gathered for the Lawrenceville school’s commencement exercises in Trenton’s CURE Insurance Arena.

“As you are dreaming of your future and trying to figure out who you really are, never forget you’ve been taught lessons of the heart and soul these past 18 years that can serve as an important guidepost on your journey,” Harris said.

Each student’s purpose – or legacy – is unique, stressed JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools, in her address to the Class of 2018.

“You matter because you are a miracle created by God,” she said. “In his infinite wisdom, he knew that you would play a part in life’s encounters. You have a purpose in this world that only you can fulfill,” Tier stressed.

Barry Breen, Notre Dame’s first president, said, “To honor those who most directly passed our tradition on to the next generation, we invited our alumni parents to present diplomas directly to their graduates.” Breen is retiring at the end of this academic year.

Among those who shared this special moment was Elizabeth Vernon, salutatorian.

“Thirty-five years later, my dad gets to hand me my diploma today,” Vernon said of her father, a Notre Dame graduate. “We are so blessed that our parents have provided us with the same faith-based education that they experienced.”

Also in the spirit of legacy, the Class of 1968 was invited to lead the procession of soon-to-be graduates to begin the ceremony.

“We are proud to have members of our Golden Irish 50th anniversary class serving as honor guard,” Breen said. “Class of ’68, we honor you for all you have achieved in your lives, and for all the good you have done for our Church and society. Allow us to thank you for setting the standard, and for continuing to support your school’s mission.”

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