AUBURN — People in the pews of St. Mary's Church in Auburn went silent and turned around to see the Tyburn Academy of Mary Immaculate 2019 graduating class.
A gaggle of camera and cell phones was aimed simultaneously at the students as they made their way to their seats in the church for the Auburn-based Catholic school's commencement Friday night.
Bishop Salvatore Matano of the Rochester Diocese told the graduates he was honored to be at the event.
He said maturity and good decisions are expected of people at young ages, and he said he believes Tyburn has instilled values in the graduates that will guide them in the future.
Growing up, identifying a vocation, and living a life can be difficult, he said, and that he hopes the graduates always have the support of their families and the "family of the church" and will "always be present for Jesus Christ."
"I pray that you remember this day, always," Matano said.
Salutatorian Sarah Weichert thanked her family, teachers and friends and told her fellow graduates that a positive attitude will make difficult choices easier to make.
"When you face the multitude of options that will come your way for the next couple of months and the following years, the way that you handle them can change your life," she said.
Valedictorian Joseph Valenti started his address by admitting that when he found out he would have to make a speech, he was "clueless about what to do." He said his classmates were instrumental in his journey, urging them not to settle and "to remember the talents you have cultivated here at Tyburn."
Before the event, Bill and Eleanor Moore said they were thrilled that they were about to see their granddaughter, Anastasia Earle, graduate. Bill Moore said he believed the smaller class sizes at Tyburn benefited Anastasia.
"It's given her a chance to become an advanced student rather than just thrown in the bunch," he said.
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.
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