The Junior Ring Ceremony is a rite of passage. Typically held in the spring, it's the time when those in Incarnate Word Academy's junior class who choose to purchase one are given their class rings, and when they are recognized as heirs to the current senior class.
This year, the Covid-19 pandemic pushed back the tradition, but there was never a question that it wouldn't take place. Held on the morning of Sept. 30, in a socially distanced Mass at Annunciation Catholic Church, members of the Class of 2021 had their rings blessed and took the Women of the Word Pledge, a promise to look first to God for happiness, to uphold His teachings and to be women of peace and mercy. Their fellow students and families watched the Mass via livestream.
"I hope that every time you look at [your] ring, it will be a reminder to remain faithful to what you have learned," said Fr. David Michael Moses, who presided over the Mass. "Because faith will give you wisdom for salvation."
In taking the Women of the Word Pledge, students were reminded how the vow echoed the beatitudes, drawing on Jesus' lessons of the relationships we have with God, as well as with one another. Sister Lauren Beck, C.V.I., president of Incarnate Word Academy, asked the students to consider the sacrifices made by their families, and the support they received from family, faculty and each other, during their time at Incarnate Word. She noted that the freshmen, sophomores and juniors look up them as the senior class, and with the privilege of being seniors comes the responsibility to be role models.
She also talked about how difficult the last six months have been, and applauded the students for their steadfastness.
"You all have been real troopers," she said. "There are many verses in Scripture that I love, but the one I want to say for today is, this is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice. And I think that today more than ever, we need to hear something like that."
In addition to having their rings blessed and reciting the Women of the Word Pledge, each senior received a rose as she exited the church, and there was a reception for the students following the Mass. The IWA Mothers' Club provided refreshments for the event.
Missed our livestream? Watch the Class of 2021 Ring Ceremony Mass here.