LYNN—More than 250 alumni, parents and community members gathered together on Tuesday for the St. Mary’s Cushing Society Celebration, which underscores and celebrates the significance of Catholic education. The annual event is also a welcome occasion to recognize major supporters of St. Mary’s and their outstanding commitment to its students.
During the celebration, St. Mary’s announced the public launch of its Campaign for Building Futures and unveiled a rendering for a school expansion project.
“The campaign will allow us to build new space for the future generation of students, and their children to follow,” said St. Mary’s Board Chair William Mosakowski. “We are more than halfway towards our goal, but there’s still work to be done.”
“Your investment in our St. Mary’s students is an investment in our future leaders,” said St. Mary’s Head of School Grace Cotter Regan.
Two such future leaders, Paige Fielding '15 and Rafael Perez '16, spoke at the event, sharing their personal St. Mary’s experiences.
“St. Mary’s is a safe place to try something new,” said Fielding, who came to St. Mary’s for the dance program and took up soccer, indoor track and lacrosse, in addition to community service activities, National Honor Society, Math Team and College Bowl. She is also vice president of her senior class and hopes to become a physician one day. “As Headmistress Regan or Principal [Mark] DiFabio would say, it’s about finding your authentic self. I’m still a student who loves to dance, but I’m so much more because of St. Mary’s. I know I will do well because of the solid, Catholic education I’ve had.”
“I realized college was a dream that would only happen if I could attend a school like St. Mary’s,” said Perez, who hopes to study criminal justice and play football in college and return to Lynn as a police officer. “I’ve been pushed to my academic potential. In the classroom and on and off the field, the St. Mary’s family works to bring out the best in every one of us.”
For the second year, the Cushing Society Celebration was held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of Providence College, was presented with the 2014 Cardinal Cushing Award. Since the prestigious award’s inception in 1996, it has been presented by St. Mary’s leadership to faithful champions of Catholic education whose personal and professional life mirrors the mission of the school.
“I’m humbled by the honor and accept it on behalf of the entire community of Providence College,” said Father Shanley, also a graduate of the college. “My four years of college completely transformed me, calling me to become a teacher and a preacher. Tonight we celebrate what Catholic education does in terms of helping students discover who they were created to be. I found that at Providence and that’s what every student is beginning to do at St. Mary’s."
For more information about the Cushing Society Celebration or the Campaign for Building Futures, please contact Jen Pearce at 781-586-2005 or visit STMARYSLYNN.COM.