Fatima grads urged to never lose their 'generous, team spirit'

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WARREN — The Our Lady of Fatima High School Class of 2009 will always be remembered for its compassion and collaborative spirit.

During graduation ceremonies held last Friday night in the school auditorium, several speakers mentioned the strong, supportive bond that the 29-member class developed as their values and faith were reinforced and strengthened by Fatima’s dedicated faculty and staff.

Commencement speaker Kathleen Bazinet, Chairperson of Our Lady of Fatima High School Board of Directors, told the graduates to “lead by example” and place “service above self.

“Stay the course,” she continued. “Never let anyone lead you away from your core values.”

Principal St. Dorothy Sister Mary Margaret Souza urged the young men and women never to abandon the morals and values taught at the 44-year-old school.

“Be alert, be open and be available,” she said. “You never know when you will meet God in the ordinariness of life.

“Ask for the wisdom you need to choose wisely,” Sister Souza added, telling the graduates that prayer will sustain them throughout their lives.

“May you bring God’s presence wherever you go,” she concluded.

David J. Marion, education coordinator for the Diocese of Providence Catholic Schools Office, congratulated the class on its 100 percent college acceptance rate. He noted that several graduates are the recipients of prestigious academic scholarships.

“Never stop being just the person you are right now,” he told the new Fatima alumni.

Valedictorian Teresa A. Le Vasseur urged her classmates to always have compassion for others.

“When one of your parents has a rough day at work — listen, ask, and maybe do the dishes or make your own supper. When you find out that someone you know is being abused — listen, ask, and if you need to, tell someone else who can really help. When you here about a group going to do some community service, go with them. When someone is carrying a heavy load, help them carry it. When you see someone crying, comfort them. When you see someone is suffering, don’t ignore it,” she said.

Le Vasseur will attend Providence College.

Salutatorian Thomas Anesta told his classmates never to lose their generous, team spirit.

“So many people today can be so selfish, that all you seem to hear them say is ‘mine.’ But within these four walls, you will surely hear students saying ‘ours.’ Like that time we all chipped in to buy ice cream for the whole class, or every year when we brought in cans for the school hunger drive. We have held each other up with our prayers, our time, or just our shoulders to lean on. I think we will miss each other most of all once we leave,” Anesta remarked.

“Our transition to a college education represents a momentous divergence from the way we have lived our lives up top now. What happens next is up to us. It is now our responsibility to decide how we want to live, and I believe that after being taught and teaching each other here, we can say that we will make the right choices. Armed with the strength we have acquired here, we walk onward to new studies, new occupations, and a new world. And times are tough in that world. Our economy is still in a recession and we are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we know we are not lost. We know that there is hope and through our efforts, we can overcome. Why? Because through our experiences at Our Lady of Fatima High School, we know things can change for the better,” he concluded.

Anesta will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.

Graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick, who served as yearbook editor, said he was grateful for the good education he received at Fatima.

“The teachers were great,” he said, noting that they were always helpful and supportive.

Sister Souza said she would remember the Class of 2009 for their “true love concern for each other.

“This class has matured since the beginning of their freshman year,” she recalled. “They are a class that helped and cared for each other throughout their four years, and for some, six years."

Our Lady of Fatima High School - Class of 2009

Renato Javier Alarcon

Thomas Anthony Anesta

Devin Lin Arsenault

Paige Lee Arsenault

Jaymes Stephen Aubin

Jill Cabral

Taylor Anne Calce

Emily Lynn Candon

Ralph Allen Chace Jr.

Nakita Ann Civic

Samantha Nicole Corey

Michele Lee D’Arcangelo

Sabrina Ann Elgar

Tyler Pinheiro Feola

Luke T. Fisher

Ryan Thomas Fitzpatrick

Erin Lynn Fogarty

Roderick E. Jones

Teresa Adelaide LeVasseur

Zhi Yin Li

Matthew Kenneth Machado

Casey E. Martel

Kyle Joseph Pard

Kara Elizabeth Ramsey

Jessica Lynn Rodrigues

Alexander Pasquale Simone

Justin Anthony Soares

Bethany D. Sullivan

Meaghan Therese Welford