On Wednesday, September 25, the Freshman Class of 2023, joined by their families and members of the faculty and staff, celebrated their reception into the Padua Sisterhood. In a Convocation Mass presided over by Father Mark Wrightson at St. Anthony’s Church, our 137 newest Pandas processed down the aisle of the same awe-inspiring building in which they will graduate in four years time.
While that may seem like an eternity for young women who have just started their high school journey, Senior Addie Brown, a member of our Peer Leadership Team, reminded them to cherish every moment because “it’s a short four years!”
In genuine and heart-felt fashion, Addie gave an empowering speech on the power of living Padua’s Four Pillars: Spirituality, Scholarship, Service, and Sisterhood. But it was the last pillar, Sisterhood, that seemed to resonate most with this group of ladies who are still just getting to know each other.
“Growing up with two older brothers, I never really understood ‘sisterhood.’ And to be honest, I always heard about the power of the sisterhood at Padua as an eighth grader or an incoming freshman, but I kind of just thought everyone was crazy. It wasn’t until our first spirit assembly that I really began to understand.
It is a different feeling being with about 600 other girls in a hot gym screaming and cheering for each other. Or, celebrating another student’s triumphs and achievements, when I don’t even really know her on a personal level. It is the little moments like these that really make Padua special. It is in times like these that I realize these are the sisters who will always have my back.
These are the girls that will always be there to lift me up on my bad days, and stand with me to celebrate my good ones. And now, freshmen, you are a part of that.
So, as you recieve your yellow rose bud tonight, it will stand as a symbol of your future and all of the growing you will experience during your time at Padua. By the time you are seniors, the rose will be in full bloom, symbolizing all you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish in your future beyond Padua. As you officially join the Padua community tonight, I challenge you to firstly, live out our four pillars everyday, and secondly make the most of your time at Padua.”
After Eucharist, our Principal, Dr. Mary McClory, with the assistance of 5 sister students (aka, the older sisters of our freshmen), distributed yellow rose buds to each Freshman, as Mrs. Manelski, Dean of Students, and Vice Principal Mrs. Fundakowski read their names. Taking the time to distribute 137 flowers individually was a symbolic reminder of our commitment to nurture and help each one of these young women bloom into their potential.
Mass concluded with an extra special moment as Father Wrightson acknowledged the large number of Padua Alumnae in the congregation, many of whom are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts of these beautiful young women.
Proceeding out after singing our Alma Mater reinforced the philosophy that the girls’ next four years will not not only be a time of experiences that will help them discover who they are, but also, expand their community by having become part of the larger sisterhood that is Padua.
Special Thanks To…
Campus Ministry for organizing another beautiful liturgy for our community.
Seniors Jessica Classen and Moira Gervay, who along with accompanist Tom Mucchetti, led our community in song. A special thank you to freshmen Lisa Cellucci and Sophia Murray who helped proclaim the Psalm and Alleluia.
Our Lectors & Banner Carriers: Tabitha Ciocco ’20, Emily Quinn ’20, and Carina Shandy ’20
Our Gift Bearers & Banner Carriers: Kyra Dove ’21, and Sonia Srikanth ’20