Below is a press release from Austin Prep:
READING, MA — Austin Prep celebrated the Baccalaureate Liturgy and Commencement Exercises for the 139 members of the Class of 2022 on Friday, May 20th on Father Seymour Field on the campus of Austin Prep. Friends, family, faculty, staff, Austin Prep Board of Trustees and graduates came together for Mass and the conferring of diplomas for members of the Class.
Celebrant Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, J.C.D., emphasized to graduates the lessons of adapting and change, especially as a result of the challenges presented in recent years by the pandemic. “I was here at the original one of these,” Bishop O’Connell noted, referencing the 2020 Baccalaureate Mass – the first Austin Prep year end celebration held outside as a dual ceremony – in which he was the celebrant. “Not embracing change leads to loneliness and bitterness. Those who change too much become narcissistic and depressed. It is important to find a balance. This is a skill you learned at Austin Prep during the pandemic which will be with you for the rest of your life.”
Brendan McCarthy, Class of 2022 Salutatorian, also focused on change, specifically referencing improvements to campus aesthetics and the Dining Hall experience. “Things have changed dramatically for us over the last few years. Changes are not a negative thing, they are an opportunity,” McCarthy said. “My new advisor is a godsend and the new teachers we’ve gained more than fill the gap that was left during Covid. I’m proud to say that Austin Prep is a finer institution than when I first joined the class of 2022 and it’s on an upwards trajectory.”
Like Bishop O’Connell, Class of 2022 Valedictorian, Vikramaaditya Gonuguntla, encouraged classmates to find a balance in life. “By going through hardships like remote learning, we have learned more than any other graduating class that a balance between our well-being and our work is crucial to living a fulfilling life. I know I regret taking harder classes that sacrificed great times with friends, so take it from me and live your life to the fullest. Our years in college will be hard, but as long as we have fun, we will remember them as the greatest and most rewarding times of our lives.”
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