Senior Chapel, the final school chapel of the year, is a long-standing tradition our graduating class looks forward to each year. The Class of 2019's Senior Chapel on May 28 was attended by The Priory's K-11 classes, faculty and staff.
The Class of 2019 decided on a senior reflection for its presentation. The reflection was divided into specific time periods of the young women's experiences at The Priory.
"We are not easily defeated when faced with adversity," Madison Wong '19 told the congregation to open the homily.
Felisa Hollenbeak '19 and Katherine Course '19 then took the stage to present the portions of the reflection dedicated to the Daughters of the Priory and elementary school.
While they spoke, the Daughters of The Priory and the girls who started at The Priory in elementary school made their way to the front of the Cathedral, each holding a handmade sign illustrating the grade level during which her journey began.
"I could have never imagined I would gain 25 sisters, nine of whom I've known for 13 or more years," Felisa said. "My heart is filled with gratitude because the shared experiences, trials and tribulations that we all witnessed each other go through formed a lasting sisterhood."
"Elementary school is a distant time now, but I remember so many of things that we experienced together," Katherine said. "Look at us now, we really grew up! Although very few of us have the same dreams that we did as when were eight, I am confident that we will do incredible things in life and I'm proud of the growth I've seen in all of you. Thank you for everything."
Olivia Stoetzer '19 then took the podium to talk about memories she and her classmates had from their years in middle school. The girls who started their time at The Priory in grades 6-8 joined their classmates at the front, holding up their own personally designed signs for all to see.
"Middle school made us stronger as individuals and as a class," Olivia reflected. "We worked to establish the people that we are today through much trial and error. We all had to overcome many challenges, but we did it together. Now we have all become strong, independent young women who are ready to take on the world. On behalf of all those who entered The Priory in middle school, we are so thankful to be a part of 2019. Thank you for welcoming us to The Priory sisterhood."
The high school reflection was delivered by Gabriella Gima '19 as the remaining members of the senior class made their way to the stage with their signs.
"Throughout high school we experienced new classes, friends and interests while also exploring career paths and applying to college," Gabriella said. "Though those who came in high school had a short time here, we have all grown exponentially and have found a place where we can shine whether it was in theatre, sports, talent shows and so much more. All of these activities have solidified who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow."
Kawena Adams '19 rounded out the senior reflections during the conclusion of the homily.
"While each of our Priory journeys may have started at different times, we have intertwined into a three-stranded cord that with God's blessing is strong enough to withstand the challenges ahead," Kawena said. "This rope, tied together, remains strong and will never be broken. We are thankful to God, Queen Emma and the Anglican Church who founded The Priory and brought us together."
At the end of her speech, Kawena joined her class and all signs were then turned around to reveal "Class of 2019" to the audience. With this reveal, the audience erupted into applause and jubilant cheers and well-wishes.
The Senior Chapel is surely one that each member of the graduation class will take with her in her heart as she begins her post-graduation journey. The sisterhood that binds the young women together was apparent during this chapel and all the end-of-the-year events. That lasting bond was one of the visions that Queen Emma had for the girls that would attend The Priory for years to come.