Bishop Keough graduates challenged to ‘live, laugh, love’

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PAWTUCKET—With a bittersweet ceremony, 10 graduates from Bishop Keough High School celebrated their accomplishments with family, faculty, and friends.

Valedictorian Samantha Forcier of Providence said that she is looking forward to starting the journey into the next chapter of her life that Bishop Keough prepared her so well for.

“Bishop Keough gave me a lot of knowledge and matured me in a lot of different ways,” she explained.

During her valedictorian address, Forcier expressed her gratitude for the supportive atmosphere of Bishop Keough.

“Every school day we walked into a nurturing environment, an environment which helped us to achieve our full potential,” Forcier shared with her classmates. “We will always be grateful for the wonderful education we have received here at Keough.”

Principal Jeanne Leclerc reflected on how quickly the years went by, remembering the young women on their first day at Bishop Keough High School. No longer little girls, she added that they have matured into women prepared to serve their brothers and sisters in Christ.

“You have surmounted challenges and persevered, despite the obstacles you encountered, and the journey you set out on four years ago is now complete,” she said. “The future looks to you to feed the poor, to assist the sick and elderly, to help shelter the homeless, to befriend the lonely and abandoned, to educate the children, and to serve all with love and kindness.”

The Pawtucket school promotes an environment of encouragement, support and understanding, said Salutatorian Jaleisa Luna during her commencement address.

“Tonight we will close the doors of Bishop Keough High School behind us; tomorrow we will open the door to an entirely new and different world, a world which will require us to make our own decisions,” she said. “What we have learned here at Keough will help us to make the right decisions, decisions that will lead us to productive and meaningful lives.”

Bishop Keough alumna and guest speaker Mary Ann Welch challenged the graduates to live passionately and purposefully, to laugh, and to love.

“When you know love, you show love,” she said. “You just have to look around this church to know love. You’ll see your parents who probably sacrificed a bit to send you to Keough. Why? Because they love you. And because of your dedicated faculty’s love of teaching and love for you, you have received a wonderful education in a caring, family-oriented atmosphere.”

Donna Broomfield of Cranston said that her daughter Hannah thrived in the small classroom setting of Bishop Keough, and added that the teachers were always very supportive.

“She’s had a really good experience,” she said. “ She loved the staff. Bishop Keough has been very good to her.”

Norman Forcier, grandfather of Samantha Forcier expressed how proud he was of his granddaughter’s accomplishments.

“I’m thrilled,” he said. “I’m overwhelmed. She has come a long way. I am very proud of her.”

Offering a comforting reminder, Welch added that the graduates will be able to achieve their goals and overcome any obstacle with the guidance and love of God.

“God’s love for you and your love for God will always lead you in the right direction and enrich your life,” said Welch. “Yes, you know love. Now it’s your job to go out and continue to show love.”

CLASS OF 2011

Tayla Marie Accinno

Hannah Elizabeth Broomfield

Naisha Marie Cunha Cano

Samantha Marie Forcier

Mary Edna Gingras

Ana Cristina Grullon

Amaris Belén Hernández

Jaleisa Amanda Luna

Katherine Melissa Rivera

Josetta Nikita Weeks

Keough