Rally Day Mass Reflection
Madeline Kerber, ’23
“So, we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” This verse from the first reading today perfectly describes Dominican. We are one body brought together because of Jesus Christ. Our families chose to give us an education that would help us to better love and serve the Lord. It is because of this gift that we have become one body, all parts of another. Yes, you are with your individual class every day, but there is something about this place that sticks with you for the rest of your life.
Today, for only a short time, we will all compete against each other in a tradition that is unique to St. Mary’s Dominican High School. Through this participation, we further our growth with each other and therefore, with Christ. Rally Day allows us the opportunity to grow as a class and to strengthen the bonds that Dominican has given us which we will carry on as alumnae.
Four years ago, we seniors sat on this gym floor waiting excitedly for our very first Rally Day. I will never forget when Ella Cheramie stood at this podium recounting her Rally Days and reminding the seniors and the rest of the student body how fast high school flies by. It was not until I looked across from me to see our Big Sisters tearing up and hugging each other that I realized the impact that Dominican would have on me over the next four years. Dominican is not just another high school. It is a place where you meet your best friends on your first day in French class, you grow in faith with your sisters without even knowing it, and you transition from a child to an adult.
Underclassmen, I hope that today you understand that you are a part of something bigger than you will ever know. One day you are an eighth grader sitting through days of technology training wishing time would speed up and the next you are a senior wishing the last forty-five days left of high school would slow down. Whether you realize it or not, God has placed you in this gym for a reason. He guided you to choose Dominican as your second home to provide you with the knowledge, friendships, and faith that will be with you forever.
To our Little Sisters, over the past few months, you have met so many new people and navigated through the ups and downs that high school brings. Rally Day is the day that your grade will begin to bond, and you will notice the girls around you that you may not have truly met yet. My advice to you is, over the next few years, keep forming friendships with your sisters that will last for the rest of your life. Open your heart to each other and most importantly, grow in faith together.
Freshmen, you now have gotten to experience many of the traditions and events that Dominican has to offer. You are no longer the newbies so use this to your advantage. Today, grow in love together. Cheer loudly. Hug your friends. Be an example of love and spread the gift of joy that God has gifted you today.
Sophomores, as the high school middle child, you can be an example to the lower classmen, but still strive to encompass the skills and sisterhood that the juniors and seniors exhibit. You are over halfway done with high school and from now on, the time seems to fly by. Looking back on my sophomore year, I wish I had realized that these are some of the best years of your life. So, enjoy contributing your part to the Dominican legacy. Live in the moment. I can attest that it is easy not to realize what you have until it is gone.
Juniors, today marks the beginning steps toward being seniors. Once Morgan passes the torch to Grace, it is your responsibility to start building your legacy as the Class of 2024. After today, you begin the journey of your “lasts.” Your last few months of wearing your junior sweater, sitting in the junior bleachers, and wrapping up your year walking into the gym as seniors on bleacher swap. So, take in every moment today and hold your sisters tight. Because in just a year, you will be sitting on the SARG floor with only a few weeks left with your best friends.
To my seniors. How has this day already come? As I look out upon each of you, I realize how much we have grown so much individually and as a grade. Over the past five years, we have overcome many trials, but each moment has brought us closer together as sisters. Look to your left at the bleachers where we made our debut as Ocean’s 8th Grade and Fueled Up Freshman. Remember the feeling of performing Sophomore Sitcom in Siena longing for just a hint of normalcy in our lives. But look how far we have come. In 2020, some of us did not see each other for almost nine months. Last year, we were finally able to hug each other and finally be fully together.
Today, when Coach Spitzfaden announces the Class of 2023 for our last Rally Day, let’s take it all in. To everyone: if there is anything that Dominican has taught all of us, and that the first reading today mentioned, it would be this: Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. We, though many, are one body. Let’s remember the memories that we have made in this gym and on this campus surrounded by the girls who will be a part of us for the rest of our lives.