Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn Graduates Class of 2023
“Live out your years with the grace and kindness that Christ,
through our teachers and staff, has modeled for us.”
AUBURN---"Remember the past with fondness, cherish today, look forward to tomorrow, enjoy life.”
The words of Stephen Shukie, a teacher selected by the graduation class to speak at the 78th Commencement of Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn, were among the many inspirational well wishes imparted to the Class of 2023 during graduation exercises on Friday, May 26.
Bishop Robert Deeley was joined by Father Daniel Greenleaf, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, and Principal Alanna Stevenson in helping with the distribution of diplomas to a graduating class that learned and lived resolve during a high school career that saw that pandemic arrive when they were freshmen. The determination that strengthened this class was mentioned in the many encouraging and motivating thoughts shared by commencement participants on Friday.
“Our St. Dom’s experience taught us how to lead by example; speak, sing, and act in the spotlight; and persevere when things got tough,” said Laura Wong, valedictorian of the 2023 class. “Live out your years with the grace and kindness that Christ, through our teachers and staff, has modeled for us: to be guided by your conscience and to use your competitive spirit, determination, and grit to work together to make every day a bit better for those around us.”
“Over the past four years, we have been shaped into the people we are today by our friends and family but ultimately, we have the power to decide who we want to be,” said Abigail Mitchell, the class salutatorian. “We are not defined by the words of others and the judgment of society, but by how we express ourselves each and every day. Embrace every moment, good or bad, and be proud of the person you are today.”
Sean Andrews, a member of the academy’s board, joined Bishop Deeley in presenting golden diplomas to members of the class of 1973 on the occasion of their 50th anniversary, another opportunity to remember the long tradition of faith, academic excellence, and service at the academy.
“Consistent with Catholic tradition, Saint Dominic Academy teaches its students Veritas Vitae, the Truth of Life, through study, prayer, community, and service,” said Kathy Pleau Martin, the chair of the academy’s board and a St. Dom’s alum. “These values have been instilled in you, and they will stay with you for the rest of your life. Use what you have learned at St. Dom’s to make a positive impact on the world, to seek truth and justice, to be a leader in your community, and to live a life filled with purpose and meaning.”
“Our school’s patron, Saint Dominic, said ‘We must sow the seed, not hoard it.’ Our Lord Jesus Christ and all that He lived and died for is living on in you,” said Alanna Stevenson, principal of St. Dom’s. “You are ready to bring His love out into the world in ways that you or I can only imagine. I and the entire staff are better for knowing you and we will cherish memories of you for the rest of our lives.”
Shukie also reminded the graduates to look around them now as they begin to dream of the future.
“Take a moment to appreciate the love and support of your families, friends, classmates, and teachers. If someone is here to celebrate your achievements, they are worthy of your love and respect. For your parents and guardians, this moment may mean more to them than it does to you. You might not appreciate why that is, but if and when you do have children, you’ll start to get it.”
Among the many schools that have accepted students in this year’s graduating class are Arizona State University, Assumption University, Bentley University, Brandeis University, Bryant University, Central Maine Community College, East Carolina University, Emmanuel College, Endicott College, Florida Atlantic University, Gordon College, High Point University, Husson University, Lasell University, Maine Maritime Academy, Merrimack College, Montana State University, New York Institute of Technology, Penn State, Plymouth State University, Roger Williams University, Saint Anselm University, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Saint Michael’s College, Salve Regina University, Savannah College of Art and Design, St. Petersburg College, Stonehill College, The University of Tampa, University of Tennessee, Thomas College, University of Connecticut, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri, University of New England, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, University South Florida, University of Southern Maine, Virginia Tech University, Washington County Community College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytech Institute, and Xavier University.
Before moving their tassels from right to left and moving across the country for their next adventures and achievements, Fr. Greenleaf blessed the class.
“With their family and friends at their side, and through the intercession of Saint Dominic and all the angels and saints, may they be inspired to offer the gifts that you have given them in service to God and neighbor, and in so doing, find true and lasting happiness in this life and eternal joy in the next,” he prayed.