Changing Perspectives…

I was way back when it was on, a huge devotee of the television show L O S T. Yes, I will freely admit it; I have the L O S T encyclopedia at home and any young lady who has passed through my Siena Honors English class knows that “fear only gets five seconds.” Over the past few weeks, I rediscovered L O S T on my Hulu and decided to give it another go around; it had been a long time since I visited the island, got involved with “The Others” and discovered that Desmond might truly be the world’s constant. If you were a fan when it was on, another visit is recommended. And, if you for some reason were lost while L O S T was on and did not get to know Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Charlie and the rest of the island crew, then I recommend heading over to Hulu to watch now.

And yet, what has caught my attention the most is how much a person’s perspective can change as we grow older, grow wiser and our lives move in different ways. When I first watched the show, I was an ardent despiser of the character of Michael, father of Walt (who is ten years old when the plane crashed on the island.) I was not alone in my dislike; most fans could not stand Michael; stubborn, thick headed at times, and solely focused. He had no sense of teamwork, minimal sense of how to take other’s feelings into consideration, and looked at offers of comfort and help as affronts to his ability to parent his child. When he did something truly terrible ( no spoilers, I promise!) at the end of a season, I was shocked and appalled by his behavior, but not surprised. After all, in the early seasons, wasn’t Michael supposed to be one of the characters we never really warmed up to?

This time around, almost ten years after the show ended, it is amazing how my perspective has changed. I was not a parent when I first watched L O S T. I am now. And that changes everything! Now, re-watching, I see Michael as heroic, single minded in his determination, yes…but his determination is to ensure that regardless of what happens to himself or to any other adult, his son is kept safe and is able to somehow find a way off that island. (Does he or doesn’t he? You’ll have to watch!) I tell you this story, not because I wanted to blog about L O S T, but because it truly struck me how my perspective on something could undergo such a monumental change in less than a decade.

And so, that thought led to (as if often does) other thoughts about changing perspective and as I write this blog to be published on April 29, I have our class of 2019 in mind. For their perspective, and yours as their parents is about to undergo a monumental change as well. That shift in perspective, from high school student to young adult out in the world, and from parent of a girl in a uniform to parent of a young woman heading off to college is quite a shift. When you sent these ladies to us, many of them wore ponytails and braces, still looking like their 8th grade graduation photos. And they themselves saw children when they looked into the mirror. Four short years later, what a different perspective each of our graduating seniors must have; on themselves, on what they want to do in the future, and on life itself.

These past four years have been years of growth and change for each of our young ladies and as they finish their very last month of high school, it is astounding to think that they have celebrated so many victories, overcome so many obstacles, and had so many varied experiences in the past four years. Every situation each girl encountered during their time here at Saint Dominic Academy, whether it was a friendship forged, a heart broken, a successful college acceptance, or a failing grade had an impact on the young woman who is now heading out into the world. How we see these young ladies has changed from 9th grade until now. Imagine, for a moment, how their self perspective has changed over this time!

I know, as a mom of a girl, that the young lady who graduates in a month will always be your little girl and that perspective will never change. Take the time, I encourage you, during the month of May to talk to the beautiful young woman who is about to embark on her path to young adulthood; ask her how her own life view has changed during these culminating years and what her dreams are for the future. I hear your daughters talk…they have amazing things to say! Let their voices over the month of May leave a lasting impression on you!

#countdowntillgraduation #classof2019

Happy Easter!

We rejoice together in the Risen Lord!

On behalf of Saint Dominic Academy, Happy Easter!

We will carry you in prayer this entire spring!

Reflections for Holy Week…

The importance of Holy Week does not change from year to year…it is the most somber and Holy seven days of the year in the Catholic Church. When I reflected on the reverence of this week last year, I received a great deal of positive feedback on the thoughts I shared. I feel perhaps, the reflections from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday that I meditated on last year and shared with my readers should be shared again as we once again enter into this time of prayer and reflection.

This week, the Catholic church enters into the most Holy Week of the year; a final meal among friends, a reflection and betrayal in the Garden, a trial, a death sentence, and the long, painful walk to death on the Cross. These days commemorate the suffering of Jesus Christ and ask each of us to pause and reflect on His sacrifice for all mankind. It is important for us all to reflect and repent during this darkened time so that we can truly embrace the Light and Life that comes forth in Joy on Easter Sunday.

Jesus knew, when He traveled to Jerusalem for the final time, that the end of his life was drawing close. We know, from Church readings that while Jesus was committed to His Father’s plan for the salvation of humankind, he still carried within His own heart great fear. We would expect nothing else; the fear of dying in such a painful manner, the fear of betrayal by a close friend, the fear of being mocked, ridiculed and beaten for His words of love would cause even the bravest of us to perhaps turn and flee the fate that awaited in Jerusalem. However, we also know from the Gospel that Jesus did not turn and flee; His presence at the Last Supper, where He washed the disciples’ feet, where He shared with close companions His Body and Blood were actions that signified His acceptance of the plan His Father had in store for Him. And although He asked in prayer to have the cup “pass from my lips”, Jesus turned His cheek to accept Judas’ kiss of betrayal and walked willingly toward His fate at Golgotha.

This week, each of us should take comfort in the suffering of our Lord, for it is that very suffering that should give us hope in difficult times. Whether we are mourning the end of a relationship, the loss of a friendship, a physical illness, the death of a loved one, or even a small sadness that touches our heart only and leaves other hearts unmoved, our sadness is not unnoticed by God. We must remember, this week and always, that the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus and His agony on the cross give all of us hope for a better tomorrow. When we offer our individual sadness, our silent pain, our tearful mourning to God, we are reminded that if we trust in our Father, His love will sustain us, not just during the trials of Holy Week leading to the Easter celebration, but always, for His sacrifice for us is continual.

As we wait this week for the stone to be removed from the tomb early on Sunday morning, let us be thankful for the sacrifice God has made for each of us and keep each other in prayer daily. We may not know the sufferings of others, but together, we can offer our sadness to God and receive the gift of joy on Easter Sunday.

In prayerful anticipation for Easter…

A Gala Celebration…

This past Saturday evening, Saint Dominic Academy celebrated its 20th Annual Gala.  This year, we recognized all of our past honorees at a “Hall of Fame” celebration. Many of our past inductees were able to join us as we celebrated 140 years of Dominican Tradition at Saint Dominic Academy. Dinner, dancing, silent auction items, a performance by our very own Dominoes, and our Fund a Scholar portion of the evening were all highlights of our signature fundraising event. It was my honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to see so many of our past distinguished honorees together once again to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Whether you were there in person or could only join in the spirit of the celebration, we at Saint Dominic Academy say “cheers to 140 years” and are always so grateful to each of you who have given so tirelessly to our beloved school. We celebrate each of our past honorees and here today I share all of their names once again!

Cathy Carnevale ‘79
Carol Ann and George T. Taite, Esq., P’14

Stephanie Barbi ‘64
BCB Community Bank
Marie Pompeo-Maffia ‘79

Dorethy Hughes McGrath ‘46
Vicki McDonald Lindorff ‘72
Lynne Seborowski ‘01

Julie M. DiGioia, M.D., F.A.C.S
Sister Patricia Hogan, O.P. ‘59
Susan Mulvaney Odenthal ‘73

Jessica Iorio ‘02
Maryanne Kelleher ‘90
Matthew Laracy P’92, ’97, ’99, ’01, ‘05

The Hon. Kevin G. Callahan, JD, P’93
Mary Ann Molinari ‘67
Marie J. Varley, Ed.D. ‘56

Joseph Napoli
Patricia Salmon
Valerie Vlahakis

Sister Maureen Kelly, F.S.P.
Dr. Elizabeth J. Neary, ‘73

The Mother’s Club
Honorary Guest Carol Higgins Clark

All Past Principals

Joan Hall ‘56
Bianca Beldini ‘90
Doreen McAndrew DiDomenico ‘80

Anne Dalton O’Brien ‘65
Kathy Wynn Barnitt ‘59
Alumnae in the Police Department /
Fire Department/Emergency Services

Jerramiah & Maureen Healy P’96, ‘99
Carolyn Zelop, M.D. ‘79

Nancy Kist, Esq. ‘82
Peter Weiss

Jane Albert
Ellyn McColgan ‘71

Joan Duane Quigley ‘52
Esmeralda Albano-Mendoza

James McLaughlin P’78, ’79, ’81, ‘82
Brian & Cynthia Bergwall-Moran ‘60

Sister Elise Redmerski, O.P. ‘55
Maurice Walsh P’67, ’73, ‘76
Kenneth McPherson P’75, ’76, ‘81

Sister Bettyanne Schultz, O.P. ‘49
Alfred & Antoinette Golden ‘57

Advice to the Junior Class…

This week, I have a guest blogger- Saint Dominic Academy Senior Hannah Dobronsky. A graduate of All Saints Catholic Academy and the recipient of the Siena Scholarship at SDA, Hannah has spent the past four years making a name for herself. In the classroom, on the tennis court, as a student leader in the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Student Ambassadors, she has been a gift to our school community. She recently penned some advice to the members of the class of 2020 and when I read it, I asked her permission to share. I am pleased and proud to present Hannah’s advice to the juniors.

Dear Juniors:

Here is a list of 12 tips that I learned throughout the college process and I think they can be really helpful to you!

1. Make sure you register as soon as possible for whatever SAT you are taking. You probably want to take it with your friends, so signing up early helps you get a seat before they are all filled up.

2. Check out the ACT if the SAT is not for you! Most colleges accept both and weigh them the same. The style of the ACT might work better for you.

3. There are a lot of test-optional schools, more than you would think. If you feel like you are a bad test taker, make sure to check out test optional schools. And always remember, you are so much more than your scores, so don’t get discouraged!

4. Find out if any of your schools require or recommend SAT subject tests. For the most part, these tests are given the same dates as the regular SAT , and you register through the College Board, just like the regular SAT.

5. Start working on your Common App early. Giving yourself enough time can help you to make your essay the best it can be. I started mine in June and fourteen drafts later, I finished in October. I would NOT recommend writing that many, I’m just a bit of a perfectionist. ☺

6. Visit all the colleges you are thinking about before senior year starts. This helps you narrow down which schools to actually apply to. You may think you like a school from their website or family member who attends, but you might get a bad vibe or feeling when you visit the campus. Once senior year starts, you will be extremely busy, so I recommend visiting a lot of schools in the summer.

7. Keep a list, (in docs or notes) of all the schools you are/might be applying to. Be sure to include whether it requires a writing supplement, an interview, subject tests, what the deadline is, and how much the application costs.

8. Consider applying Early Action. Not all schools offer it, but it is a non-binding option that lets you have your admissions decision in December or January as opposed to March or April. The deadline is usually in November and I applied Early Action to all schools that offered it. This helped me a lot and I ended up submitting all my applications before Christmas.

9. See which of your schools require the CSS profile, and additional financial aid form that can be accessed through College Board.

10. Start making a list of all your extra curricular activities: sports, clubs, awards, honor societies, leadership positions, volunteer positions, paid work, and anything else you contributed time to. You have done so many amazing things throughout high school and Common App wants to know it all!

11. Ask teachers for recommendations in the summer or early September. You want to give them enough time, especially if you are applying early anywhere.

12. Take a deep breath! This whole process is very complicated and overwhelming and your mental health is more important than stressing out when you have such a long way to go. I promise, you are going to end up right where you belong, and no matter where you go, your experience is what you make of it.

Good luck and never be afraid to reach out to the seniors if you have any questions about anything!

From Hannah

Sound advice from one of our truly stellar seniors! Thanks Hannah for blogging for me this week!