Baccalaureate service held for Presque Isle High School seniors

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Almost 50 Presque Isle High School seniors gathered at St. Mary’s Catholic Church June 3 for a Baccalaureate service involving several area churches. Approximately 200 friends, family members, faculty and interested community members joined in the special multi-faith occasion of celebration and giving thanks for the students’ accomplishments and achievements.
    Words of encouragement were offered as the students prepare to graduate this week and move on to the next step in their journey of life. The event was planned by volunteers, and student attendance was optional. Parents and other guests called the event a “tremendous success,” and many expressed their hope that a Presque Isle Baccalaureate “will become an annual event.”
The evening began with a musical prelude of easy-listening piano selections by class member, Seth Swanson. Students wore caps, gowns and stoles, and walked into church together as organist Dan Ladner played “Pachelbel’s Canon.” Seniors Kelly Smith, Janna Clukey, Megan Sturgeon and Alyssa Littlefield introduced guest speakers from their respective churches, and Sarah Gonsioroski introduced faculty speaker Fran Barter. Other student speakers from the class were Jacob Graham (“We Remember”), Emily Desjardins (“Emily’s Thoughts”), and Gabe Cheney (“Gabe’s Goodbyes”). Senior Chelsea Kaiser sang “Legacy.” All performances were outstanding. All attendees could certainly appreciate the awesome talent these young people have, and admire their willingness to share that talent and express their faith at the same time.
Fr. Ray Morency of St. Mary’s Catholic Church opened the program with a greeting and invocation. The Rev. Dr Robert Grove-Markwood of the Presque Isle Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, read Psalm 139 as the scripture reading. Pastor Nate Hasty of the State Road Advent Christian Church delivered a message to the graduates, and the Rev. Dr. Ken Phelps of the Mapleton Baptist Church gave a farewell and benediction to close the ceremony.
Other guest speakers/singers included a graduate of Presque Isle High School and member of the Presque Isle Wesleyan Church Rebeckah (Gallant) Perry (Class of 2004), whose version of the Mark Hall song “And Now My Lifesong Sings,” was absolutely beautiful. Barter’s inspiring address focused on possibilities and service, as well as the promise and potential each and every graduate possesses. “A Parents’ Prayer for our Children” was led by Randy Norsworthy. Ladner sang, “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You,” and the ceremony then concluded with a recessional as those gathered sang, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
Students and guests gathered for a reception, which was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall immediately following the Baccalaureate.
The event was not sponsored or underwritten by SAD 1, but rather a parent-planned event organized and attended by volunteers and interested community members.