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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Villa celebrates Mary’s Day 2022


Villa Maria Academy celebrated its annual Mary’s Day ceremony on Wednesday May 25.. This tradition is the last official day of school for the senior class every year, and emotions were definitely running high.

This year’s Mary’s Day began with a short ceremony to honor the senior class of Villa Maria in the Villa auditorium. Villa students dressed up in formal spring dresses and outfits to look their best for this ceremony, and the seniors looked as beautiful as ever. Social studies teacher Mrs. Martin put together a slideshow of pictures from the seniors’ time at Villa, spanning from their freshman year to their senior year, and there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

After this slide show, former principal of Villa Maria Academy Sr. Mary Drexler gave a speech in honor of the last official Mary’s Day celebrated at Villa Maria Academy. Because of the merge that is happening between Villa and Cathedral Prep next year, there will never be another Mary’s Day celebrated at Villa Maria, so Sr. Mary spoke about how important it is to keep the Villa spirit alive. It was very easy to be inspired by her words.

After Sr. Mary’s speech, the Villa students moved from the auditorium to individual classrooms. They then had the opportunity to take part in the Mary’s Day letters tradition. For this tradition, Villa students have the option to write letters to their classmates, friends, and teachers. These letters are meant to be a way for Villa students to express their gratitude for one another and to wish each other health and happiness over the summer. It is a very good feeling to both give a letter of gratitude and to receive one. This tradition is all about making others smile.

Finally, Mary’s Day ended with the crowning of the Mary statue by the May Queen and the May Court. The May Court is a group of five seniors who are voted on by the senior class and faculty to represent the senior class as a whole. For this year’s Mary’s Day, the May Court included: Margaret McGovern, Paula Kirik, Madison Smith, Carissa Dunham, and Willa Regal. The May Queen is a student who is voted onto the May Court and is then voted to crown the Mary statue and to speak to the entire senior class about her gratitude for the last four years of her life. This year, Paula Kirik was given the honor to be the May Queen, and her speech was beautiful. All five members of the May Court wore stunning white dresses and vibrant flower crowns. Paula did a perfect job of crowning the Mary statue, and all five members of the May Court made the Villa community proud.

After the May Court gave their final procession out, the students were led outside to sing the Villa Alma Mater with past Villa graduates. This had never happened before this year’s Mary’s Day, but since this year was the final Mary’s Day at Villa Maria Academy, it felt right for current Villa students to be joined by Villa graduates. Every single graduate was enthusiastic and excited to be back at their old high school, and the Alma Mater was sung with pride from every generation of Villa graduates.

After the Alma Mater concluded, Villa students and teachers went to the back patio for pictures, and students were officially dismissed for the day. Mary’s Day 2022 was officially a success.

For sophomore Ameila Lego, this was the second Mary’s Day she had ever experienced, as well as her first without COVID-19 inhibiting the enjoyment of her special day. She adores the letters tradition, and she is very grateful for the people she got to spend her day with.

“What I enjoyed most about Mary’s Day was the time our Villa sisters got to spend together,” Amelia said. “It reminded me how lucky I am to have the great friends that I have. I am hopeful for the future of Mary’s Day, but I am also eternally grateful.”

For senior Alex Kitchen, her Mary’s Day was quite the opposite. This was the last Mary’s Day for her at Villa Maria Academy, and she had the opportunity to dance in front of the Mary statue in honor of the Blessed Mother. She tried to enjoy the moment as much as she could.

“If I had to pick my favorite part of Mary’s Day, it would definitely be after the ceremony, exiting the auditorium, and seeing the alumni outside,” Alex said. “Singing the Alma Mater together was incredible. It was a really special moment for the Villa community to experience one last time. Seeing and feeling all of the support really solidified the idea that when you go to Villa, you can call it home.”

Cathedral Prep is planning to continue the Mary’s Day tradition on the new campus beginning next year.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Buckel
Olivia Buckel, Senior Editor-in-Chief
Olivia is the senior editor-in-chief of The Rambler. She was the junior editor of The Rambler during the 2021-2022 school year, and has written over twenty articles. She enjoys going to the movies, reading, and skiing in her free time, and hopes to pursue English at a four-year university.
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