The 13 members of the Falls City Sacred Heart Class of 2013 earned their diplomas and – formally, at least – met the new Bishop of the Lincoln Doicese last Tuesday, May 14, at Commencement Exercises held at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.
School Principal Doug Goltz presented each candidate, School Supt. Msgr. Robert Roh conferred awards and Rev. James D. Conley conferred the diplomas and addressed the crowd. Bishop Conley this past year succeeded Fabian W. Bruskewitz as Bishop of the Lincoln Diocese. It was the first time in 23 years that someone other than Rev. Bruskewitz conferred diplomas at FC Sacred Heart Commencement.
Rev. Conley noted that the Class of 2013 was particularly special because it’s a historical year both locally and universally, with the election of Pope Francis in March.
“What does this mean for the graduates and their future?, Rev. Conley asked.
“God is developing a new generation of leaders; well-equipped and formed from Catholic education for the new adventure ahead…do not be afraid to spread your religion among the world you live in,” he said.
“The church needs you, the world needs you, may God bless you and strengthen you as we all go forth together in the name of Christ.”
After Class of ‘13 member Will Anthony Burenheide performed “Shout to the Lord,” top-ranked grad Janey Claire Malcolm presented the Valedictorian Address.
“Through the years of grade school, we developed as a class. Became great friends, learned, grew, went to church, and accepted new knowledge,” she said. “Our intelligence increased….but not without a few mishaps on the way. We fought a little, got competitive with each other, and spent some time standing at recess…..some of us more than others, but we always stuck with each other. We became a family.
“In high school, we experienced many things. Homecoming, high school sports, quiz bowl, speech team, one act, and so many more activities that Sacred Heart has to offer. We experienced the joys of accomplishment…the pains of failure.We learned a lot. Took challenging courses. Struggled through school work.
“In a couple of months, we will head off on different paths. Pursue different dreams. Move to different towns. We won’t be the close knit family we have been for so long. We will leave this school as we first came: individuals. But we won’t be the same kind of individuals. We will be the people that this school has raised us to be. We will go out into the world with the knowledge and faith that our years at Sacred Heart have given us. And even though we are all going separate ways, we will always have each other to talk to. Anytime. Always. Just because our years at Sacred Heart are over, we, the class of 2013, are still a family.”
Class of 2013 Salutatorian, Matthew John Mullins, gave his address a week prior at the Academic Awards Night in Tiehen Gym.
In addition to Burenheide, Mullins and Malcolm, the FCSH Class of 2013: Rachel Nicole Aitken, Lane Matthew Barnhill, Derek Joseph Bippes, Brody Ray Chandler, Brady Austyn Cromer, Clayton Dale Finck, Thomas Matthew Froeschl, Antonia Marie Kean, Lane Benjamin Scheitel and Colton Robert Witt.
Emma Schock contributed to this report