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Trenton Catholic Academy HAMILTON

Hamilton’s TCA graduates strong, faithful in spite of losses By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor


he first word I would use to describe this class is resilient,” Trenton Catholic Academy president Michael Knowles said, speaking of the 44-member graduating class of the Hamilton school. The class, which came together May 28-29 for a Baccalaureate Mass and commencement exercises, included cancer survivors and students who have lost parents and family members. The entire student body, however, lost its biggest cheerleader in Sister of St. Joseph  A photo of Sister of St. Dorothy Payne, the Joseph Dorothy Payne holds school’s president, a place of honor during the who passed away in May 29 commencement. John February. Batkowski photo “Our students were able to mourn her loss and continue to perform both academically and athletically, as well as be involved in other activities,” Knowles said. Valedictorian Abigail Klimas expressed surprise at her sadness in saying goodbye to her high

TCA graduates school family during the May receive Holy 29 commencement held at Communion Trenton Catholic Academy. during the “I am overjoyed to go Baccalaureate to college and live out my Mass held May 28 passions … it is an extremely in the Hamilton bittersweet feeling,” she said. school. Jay Mayer “Though we are leaving, we photo will never forget … the time we all spent together that shaped us as individuals.” • Klimas, who will major in biology at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, thanked the TCA community, as well as Sister Dorothy, “who is definitely here in spirit right now … It fills me with sorrow that you are unable to speak at graduation, but I would still like to thank you for all you’ve done for TCA.” A Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated May 28 in the school by Father Augusto “Al” Gamalo, current TCA chaplain and parochial vicar of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square. Father Jean Felicien, former TCA chaplain, who is currently pursuing graduate studies in The Catholic University of America, Washington, served as concelebrant. Salutatorian Felix Lopez, who will also attend TCNJ and major in finance or business, reflected on TCA’s family-like atmosphere. “I feel like everyone has a place here,” he said. “It was very important, being able to build relationships … [and] get that support from the faculty; [they] really care about you and … they

Graduates: 44 Baccalaureate Mass: May 28, 2019, Trenton Catholic Academy Commencement: May 29, 2019, Trenton Catholic Academy Scholarships Received: $4.6 million

Valedictorian: Abigail Klimas

Salutatorian: Felix Lopez

Bishop Ahr Award: Olive Ihem

The moment we have been eagerly anticipating all our lives is finally here. … We will never set foot in Trenton Catholic as a student again. Rather, we will step into new beginnings and proudly proceed with the next chapter of our lives. However, with this, we are left with a sense of loss deep down to leave … our school family. … My heart is heavy from the loss of such a familiar environment and the loss of the caring people.” Abigail Klimas, Valedictorian Speech

See Faith • G32

 Sister Dorothy Payne SSI Memorial Scholarship recipients Loyalty Scott Bush, left, and Dazjah M. Jackson stand with diocesan schools superintendent JoAnn Tier, Upper School director C. Kroekel and TCA president Mike Knowles.

 Class of 2019 students bring forward the gifts for the Liturgy of the Eucharist during the Baccalaureate Mass. Jay Mayer photo

John Batkowski photo


Class of 2019 • G7

Profile for Diocese of Trenton

Monitor Graduation 2019 Special Issue  

Featuring the Graduation Class of 2019 from the Diocese of Trenton

Monitor Graduation 2019 Special Issue  

Featuring the Graduation Class of 2019 from the Diocese of Trenton