June 12, 2020

Seniors share their greatest life lessons from Catholic high schools

Michael Mark, a graduating senior of Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, poses on May 27 with his classmates, figuratively speaking, in the form of story boards each senior’s family made for their graduation ceremony. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Michael Mark, a graduating senior of Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, poses on May 27 with his classmates, figuratively speaking, in the form of story boards each senior’s family made for their graduation ceremony. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By John Shaughnessy

Their answers are thoughtful and heartfelt—exactly what you would expect from some of the top-performing, graduating seniors in Catholic high schools across the archdiocese.

Their answers also reflect how much these past four years of Catholic education have meant to them, how they have found a family in their high schools that has changed their lives, and how their experiences have helped them grow in their faith and their relationship with God.

Their answers are in response to these two questions:

  • What is one of the greatest life lessons you have learned in high school?
  • How has your high school prepared you for life on Earth and in heaven?

Representing the 1,385 seniors who are graduating from Catholic high schools in the archdiocese this spring, these graduates offer a glimpse into what the members of the Class of 2020 have learned in the past four years—and what they will carry with them into their futures.

What is one of the greatest life lessons you have learned in high school?

Nate Pawlak, Father Michael Shawe Memorial High School in Madison: “One of the greatest life lessons I have learned during my time in high school is that some people come into your life for only a short time. This means you have to appreciate every moment with them before your paths separate.”
 

Elizabeth Mullen, Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg: “The great lesson I’ve learned is that the community you build around yourself matters. Your school, family and friends will greatly change how you see yourself and the world. Choose them wisely, invest in them, and appreciate them while they last.”
 

Maria Popson, Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville: “Always put God first. Try to follow his will for you in every decision you make. Look at each opportunity as a heavenly gift and always work hard to share your God-given talents.”
 

Annie Leppert, Cathedral High School in Indianapolis: “One of the greatest life lessons I have learned during my time at Cathedral is to always stay true to who you are. I have met so many different people at Cathedral, and while it is tempting to try and make yourself seem like someone else to become closer to them, it does not help in the long run.

“My best friends in the world are the ones who take me as I am, and do not want to be like anyone else. The Cathedral family lifts each other up and celebrates what makes each student unique and perfect in God’s eyes.”
 

Margaret Corns, Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis: “One of the greatest life lessons high school has taught me is to lean into any challenges that I encounter. Challenges present a unique way for you to learn more about yourself and what you are capable of. Without the challenges I have faced so far in life, I would not know the extent of my capabilities. Challenges help us become the people we are meant to be.”
 

Suzanne Becker, Seton Catholic High School in Richmond: “One of the greatest life lessons I have learned during high school is the importance of capturing memorable moments. Ten years from now, I will be able to look back on these moments and remember all of the good times I had, and see how I was shaped into the person that I have become.

“You don’t realize just how much you will cherish your high school experience forever until you’ve almost stepped out of ‘the good old days.’ ” 

How has your high school prepared you for life on Earth and in heaven?

Michael Mark, Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis: “My high school has prepared me for life in heaven and on Earth by surrounding me with peers who I can share and grow in my faith with, and teachers who act as role models as to what it means to live out a life centered around God.”
 

Lydvine Adjahouisso, Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis: “Attending Providence for the last four years has made me a more prayerful and faithful person. I incorporate prayer daily, in and outside of school. I have fallen in love with theology. Because of these classes, I decided to continue receiving the sacraments and got confirmed last year.”
 

Abby Davey, Roncalli High School in Indianapolis: “High school has prepared me for my life on Earth by showing me that no matter where I am, I will always have a family. Yes, I have my at-home family who I love so much and whom I know will always be there for me, but I also have my Roncalli family.

“High school is a place where you can look to teachers, friends and all of your classmates to guide you in the right path to heaven. I feel like God has placed these people in my life so I can fully live my life here on Earth and eventually live with God in heaven.” †

 

Related: Superintendent salutes the Class of 2020 and praises the people who have shaped their lives | Archbishop Thompson records message to 2020 high school graduates

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