Hello. My name is Isabella Rotellini. I attended St. Francis De Sales School from Montessori to eighth grade and now I am a senior graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School. Like my fellow seniors here with me today I am experiencing many emotions: happiness for how far we have come; sadness because it’s the end of an era; excitement for continuing our education or starting our first job; nervousness about leaving home; and of course uncertainty about the future. But within all of these emotions, exists our roots. Our roots are what bind us to our past and hold us together for our future.
Webster’s Dictionary defines roots as the cause, source or origin of something. The origin of each of us is right here within this church. We began this journey together at baptism when we were committed into our Christian faith and when you, our family, friends, and fellow St. Francis parishioners promised to support us. Thank you to God and to all of you for that most important gift.
I would also like to thank the late Mrs. Sibray for leading us through First Reconciliation and First Communion and to Deacon Harry and Mr. Sadowski for preparing us for Confirmation.
Thank you to Monsignor Sam, Father Perry, Father Chapin, our Deacons and our new favorite priest, Father Paul, who have all led us spiritually.
Thank you also to our incredible teachers at St. Francis School. Thank you to Mrs. Blanar for keeping us in line and to Mrs. Peck for being the first to instill a love of science in us. Thank you to Mrs. Little for fostering a love of reading within us and to Mrs. Bobbin for showing us mad math skills. Thank you to Ms. Mary and Mr. Bill for providing healthy meals that actually tasted good; and of course, to Mrs. Wynne for her tireless work in developing each of us into the strong students and Catholics that we are. Thank you to every teacher out there who has put so much of themselves into preparing us for our future.
Thank you most of all to our parents who stayed up with us late at night studying for tests and finalizing projects, cheered us on in sports games, guided us emotionally and prayed for us throughout our education.
And finally, congratulations to my fellow members of the Class of 2019. We have established our roots together. Whether or not we ventured off to different schools or stayed together throughout, we all are rooted here at St. Francis. This will always be our place of comfort. St. Francis de Sales is who we are. I count myself incredibly blessed to call each of you my friends not only now, but for life. As we approach the beginning of the rest of our lives, I hope each of us will embrace the opportunity before us, take what we have learned and put it to good use, leave behind what isn’t helpful and bring forward with us the lessons that will be the working parts of our life.