Academy Students Prepare For Future

ELIZABETH—Members of Benedictine Academy’s Class of 2010 were officially inducted into the school’s Alumnae Association at a ceremony held May 26 in the Benedictine Sisters’ St. Walburga Monastery Church in Elizabeth.

Forty-four seniors who will graduate from the all-female Catholic high school on June 3 were inducted. They were recognized as the 95th graduating class to “make the life-long commitment to develop a spirit of pride and community among graduates who have gone before…and those who will follow…in years ahead”.


The future alumnae were addressed by keynote speaker Guida Reis Faria, an alumna of the Benedictine Academy Class of 2000. Reis Faria currently teaches physics at Montville H.S. She earned a Masters Degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Seton Hall University. Reis Faria noted that the faculty at Benedictine Academy “teach not only academics, but also about love for others, compassion, understanding and faith with enthusiasm and dedication. The lessons here …are designed to foster your personal growth intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually,” she added.

Reis Faria advised the young women to “be confident as you embark on this new chapter of your life that you are prepared because you are a Benedictine Academy alumna.” She quoted Nelson Mandela who said, “Education is the most important weapon which you can use to change the world.” She also encouraged the future graduates to “follow the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’”

Reis Faria added her own challenge, saying, “So, as you leave Benedictine Academy, do not settle for mediocrity, injustice, ignorance, intolerance. Do not accept things for what they are but instead for what they can become…So go, change the world! Take your own path, leave your own trail, dream the impossible, reach for the unattainable, and always persevere.”

The Class of 2010 was also addressed by Sister Germaine Fritz, OSB, Class of 1954, President of Benedictine Academy. Sister Germaine told the young women that it is a “privilege and a responsibility” to be part of the Alumnae Association and that they now join the ranks of over 3500 women educated at the Academy since 1915. Benedictine Academy Alumnae Association Chair Mary Barbieri Young, Class of 1969, officially accepted the group of young women and led them as they recited their induction pledge.

Benedictine Academy Advisory Board of Trustees member and Class of 1962 graduate, Peg Harrington MacNeill, welcomed all in attendance. BA Campus Minister Sister Donna Jo Repetti, OSF, offered a blessing. Benedictine Academy Principal Kenneth Jennings was Master of Ceremonies.  Melissa Grau, Director of Guidance, presented the students for induction. Ariana Taveras, Class of 2012, invited all to a celebratory “Big Sister, Little Sister” party held at the Academy following the event.

The Benedictine Academy Class of 2010 gathered together following induction into the school’s Alumnae Association on May 26, 2010. The young women are standing in front of the Benedictine Sisters’ Motherhouse, across from the school on North Broad Street in Elizabeth.

Cheila Cardoso (left) and Jennifer Cobo (right), residents of Hillside and sophomores at Benedictine Academy (BA) in Elizabeth, mixed milk shakes for their “Big Sisters” at a “Fifties” party held immediately following the induction of the senior class into the school’s Alumnae Association on May 26. Sophomores (“Little Sisters”) and seniors (“Big Sisters”) are paired together during their time at BA, with seniors providing leadership and caring friendship. The sophomore “Little Sisters” honored their “Big Sisters” with poems, songs, and recalling fond memories as the seniors prepare to graduate on June 3.

Benedictine Academy sophomores Cinthya Pizarro (left) and Jessica Acevedo, both of Elizabeth, share a light moment as they check out the Benedictine Academy yearbook during the “Fifties” party that followed the school’s senior class alumnae induction. The sophomores (“Little Sisters”) honored their senior “Big Sister” with the gathering after the seniors’ induction into the BA Alumnae Association. Milkshakes, pancakes and fifties music all helped make the event a success.

Faculty member Amy Paul (right) serves pancakes to Khiara Gonzaga of Hillside, a sophomore at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, and other students waiting inline, during a celebration for the school’s seniors. All were attending a “Fifties” party held following the induction of the senior class into the Benedictine Academy Alumnae Association on May 26. Pancakes, milkshakes, music of the decade and many good wishes all made the day special for the graduating seniors.

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