Diocesan High Schools Finally Celebrate Graduation
August 6, 2020
DIOCESE—Catholic high schools in the Rockford Diocese have found ways to congratulate this year’s senior classes. Among them are Sterling’s Newman Central Catholic High School and Elgin’s St. Edward Centrral Catholic High School.
Newman CCHS, Sterling
Newman Central Catholic High School celebrated Mass with the Class of 2020 on July 20 at St. Andrew Church in Rock Falls. It was a private, family event. 
To comply with social-distancing guidelines, only students and their parents were allowed and seated in assigned pews. Diplomas, award certificates, senior fliers, a copy of The Observer graduation edition, a DVD of baccalaureate and a senior tribute DVD were placed at each seat. 
The Mass with Father Richard Kramer was live streamed for those who could not attend. 
Valedictorian was Joselyn Reed and co-salutatorians were Nate Ahlers and Dean Ellorando. 
Reed reminded her classmates of the challenges and memories they have experienced over the past four years. She thanked all of the parents for investing in a Catholic education and for all of the sacrifices they have made over the years to help the graduates arrive at this moment.  She ended by challenging everyone to  “find good and praise it” and her classmates to “... truly make the most of every day.”
St. Edward CCHS, Elgin
Members of the Class of 2020 from St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin celebrated their accomplishments with a Mass at St. Patrick Church in St. Charles June 27.
Though social distancing measures were in place, the support for this class was strong with seniors, guests, and faculty in attendance. The ceremony included Mass, diploma recognition, and speeches by  valedictorian, Maddie Ellsworth and co-salutatorians, Rachel Martini and Maximillian Marquez.
Ellsworth told her classmates, “As we now prepare to move forward in life, we must remember to get involved and be  part of something bigger than ourselves. Know that no matter where our jouneys take us, we are not alone. The people surrounding us right now are our community. 
“Our world is about to get a lot bigger, but through our experiences here at St. Ed’s, we will always have a place to call home.”
Marquez  said, “One thing at St. Ed’s has always remained consistent from the first time I walked through the front doors up until I unknowingly left for the last time, and that is the incredible sense of community that St. Ed’s offers. 
“Every single teacher I've had at St. Ed’s has felt less like an overseer and more like a mentor, a friend, someone you can trust to help you when you're struggling and cheer you on when you're succeeding.”
Martini said, “Class of 2020, my challenge for you is to seek out the hidden blessings in your life right now. And, although it will be difficult to look for the positives in a time when our worlds have been turned upside down by this virus, life becomes just a little better when you start to recognize the deeper meaning to certain moments and that God's great works and love for you aren't always super apparent.”


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