Sacred Heart Greenwich, all all-girls college preparatory school, graduated 72 girls in the Class of 2018 on Friday.
Claire Lorentzen, a graduate of the Class of 2006 and current Director of Mission Communications for the Conference of Sacred Heart Education, was the commencement speaker.
Lorentzen talked about working with students to understand their approaches to spirituality, religion and faith, and ultimately translating those into new resources and programs across the network of Sacred Heart schools.
Perhaps an allusion to the controversy that resulted when a student placed a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop in February, Lorentzen said, “To keep our schools’ traditions relevant, we need new questions.”
She said great and needed questions force the community to reconcile the exterior world with interior values and identity.
“Our leaders, faculty and students are asking all sorts of new questions,” she said, going on to list several questions. “How do we embrace increasing religious and cultural diversity in our communities? How do we live in our three dimensional identity as a Catholic School, a Sacred Heart school, and an independent school? How do our values speak clearly to contemporary challenges and needs? How do we engage a generation of young people who are not attracted to institutional religion? What are the essential qualities of a Sacred Heart education?”
The salutatorian, Maria “Pau” Barbosa of Greenwich, who will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, emphasized the importance of living every day to the fullest.
“Every single new person you meet is a new chance to leave a footprint in their hearts,” she said. “Every street you visit, every place you pass is a chance to experience, to learn something new that you can later share with the rest of the world. It is important to laugh and live and love as much as you can.”
Maria talked about feeling lost, alone and helpless after the loss of classmate Caroline Dym, a victim of a double murder suicide in Pound Ridge in August 2017.
“In a time like this, it has been hard to find comfort,” she said. “But after time, we have stood next to each other and we have supported each other through all of this. Caroline is with us every day. I know that. And she will never leave our side as long as we remember and honor her. In her time on this earth, she left her mark on a countless number of people because that was just the type of person she was.”
A moment Maria said she would not forget was during her freshman year when the varsity soccer team beat Greenwich Academy, and everyone stormed the field.
She concluded her remarks by quoting Henry David Thoreau: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
Sacred Heart Greenwich Class of 2018
Bridget Baker, Maria Barbosa, Chelsea Beckford, Andy Bella, Rachel Bellissimo, Andrea Bernal, Madeline Black, Ava Bloom, Sophia Brusco, Lauren Burd, Kalyna Carroll, Sofia Caruso, Catherine Chmiel, Samantha Clark, Erin Cleary, Emily Coster, Christina DeConcini, Caroline DeVita, Megan Doherty, Magdalena Dutkowska, Caroline Dym, Kaitlin Edwardson, Caroline Finn, Marguerite Galopin, Clara Geffs, Maria Ignacia Gil, Kathryn Goodfriend, Elisabeth Hall, MOrgan Hennessy, Ciara Henry, Bettina Hervey, Julia Herzig, Lily Holl, Laura Holland, Victoria Huchro, Barbara Jones, Stephanie Jordan, Annabell Knollmeyer, Jacqueline Koletas, Paolina Kovalenko-Baloup, Sloane Kratzman, Jillian Larkin, Lily Lemkau, Abigail Leyson, Katherine McCabe, Tiara McIntosh, Eleanor McKenney, Madison Miraglia, Olivia Monahan, Gianna Morano, Katharine Muccia, Bridget Ann Murphy, Nathalie Perreault, Sofia Piriz, Caleigh Pope, Juliette Prato, Ayna Ramseur-Moore, Kaitlin Reilly, Naphtalie Rene, Laura Rodrigues, Nina Rosenblum, Kate Ruberti, Isabella Russekoff, Jacquelyn Shannon, Charlotte Sheehan, Sarah Speegle, Julia Spiegel, Madeline Squire, Angelique Starke, Mary Jane Tranfo, Emily Wiele and Marguerite Wolanske.