The junior class received their school rings at a liturgy celebrated by Father Lawrence Ryan, S.J., chaplain of Fairfield Preparatory School, on Friday, April 13.
In her call to worship, Jayne Collins, head of the Upper School, welcomed Fr. Ryan and reminded the Class of 2013 that this was their first introduction to becoming alumnae of Convent of the Sacred Heart.
Senior Class President Margaretta Ryan presented a reflection on behalf of the Class of 2012. At the offertory of the Mass, sisters Mollie and Maddy Pillari processed to the altar carrying a class ring and the medal seniors receive from juniors as a symbolic offering of the students giving themselves to God to do God’s will in the world. It was a lovely morning for the juniors and their parents, as well as for the seniors and sophmores who also attended.
Margaretta's inspring reflection carried the following message to all. "You might not all know that I am a lifer here at Convent of the Sacred Heart. Right now I am about a month and a half shy of the full package. And, I am already getting quite nostalgic about my time here. So I was honored when I was asked to speak to you today at this year’s Ring Day Mass.
Ring Day really is a beautiful ceremony. I love traditions like Ring Day because they give the School stability, and I feel like I am a part of something that is bigger than just me. Our rings carry religious symbols that point to St. Madeleine Sophie and her vision. For me, it’s the ring itself as a symbol of that tradition and lineage that runs through the network of Sacred Heart Schools that speaks most to me. When I was visiting colleges as a prospective student, I was warmed to meet another Sacred Heart girl. She, too, wore her class ring. And instantly, we were able to talk about conges, gouters and our liberal interpretations of “wise freedom.”
These rings are now your tangible connections back to this community. They supersede distance and differences. All of us have a ring. It’s an inclusive symbol of the ideals we carry with us as we venture into our adult lives.
The passing of the rings brings the community together and creates bonds that go beyond a generic friendship. Maybe you are a part of long standing “lineage,” or you are family, or maybe you and your ring partner are forming a new connection. This is the fun aspect to Ring Day. But it is more than that. It is about taking one morning to slow down and realize that we are growing up and moving on. But before we rush out of here we are given this token of our pasts to carry with us to keep us rooted together.
As much as we love this place, we all have our moments of frustration. Despite our frustrations, we always come back for more. These rings mean that each of us has been given an opportunity. We have been given this great, open education, which, unlike most schools, is rooted in ethics and faith.
We have learned to challenge ideas rather than blindly accept them. We have learned to be sensitive to the consequences of our words and actions. We have learned to be compassionate and forgiving. When someone sees this ring on your finger they are going to see a thoughtful, curious, and analytical thinker, as well as a kind and empathetic sister. That, is the meaning of the ring. Thank you and congratulations!"