May Crowning and senior class celebrations at Woodlands Academy

May 2 was a day of double celebrations at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. It began with the annual May Crowning ceremony, followed by a special event for members of the senior class.

May Crowning honors Mary, Mother of Jesus, by crowning her statue with a wreath of flowers. It serves as a visible reminder that Mary’s example continues to endure even 2,000 years after her Assumption. Participants expressed gratitude to Mary for her example of a life well-lived and honored her as a woman of great virtue.

“She is a model of faith for all of us. We can learn from her example to accept and trust in the seemingly impossible,” senior Isabel Rettino said. “At Woodlands Academy, we hold this tradition dearly and take some time each year to celebrate Mary through prayer, song, and a procession that leads to crowning her.”

A highlight of the annual event is the Procession of the Senior Court and Honor Guard. Members of the Senior Court were chosen to perform key functions of the ceremony. Gretchen Steele carried the banner, Charlotte Sparks read a special prayer, Cindy Yao conveyed the crown of flowers and Stephanie Smith placed the crown on the statue of Mary across from the school’s main entrance.

This year’s Honor Guard members were: freshmen Fiona McNulty and Ida Psencik, sophomores Nakeiya Banks and Judith Koukol, juniors Clara Bartusiak and Natalia Kozic, and seniors Brandy Brennan and Lani English.

Immediately following the May Crowning service, members of the senior class were inducted into three Sacred Heart alumnae/alumni associations:

·        Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association (WAAA)

·        Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart (AASH), which fosters a spirit of unity and ongoing communication among alumni throughout the United States and the world.

·        World Association of Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart (Association Mondiale des Anciennes et Anciens du Sacré Coeur), a unique worldwide organization of Sacred Heart alumni on six continents who share the privilege of receiving an education based on the love of God and of one another.

In addition, Class of 2022 representatives selected to serve as liaisons between the Alumnae Association and their graduating class were announced during the ceremony. They are Lani English, Caitlin Mooney and Stephanie Smith. Students who want to share their love of and commitment to Sacred Heart education apply for the position of Class Representative and are then chosen by their classmates.

One of the more moving moments occurred as members of the junior class sang “Here Within My Heart” as a musical tribute to Woodlands Academy’s seniors.

The induction ceremony ended with the traditional turning of the rings. Each member of the Class of 2022 turned the ring she received during her junior year so that the heart faces outward. This action symbolizes a readiness to explore the larger world, taking the values and spirit of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria with them on all of life’s journeys.