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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

Honoring our Graduates

No one could have predicted how quickly the coronavirus could change everything. One moment, soon-to-be graduates were looking forward to end-of-the-year activities, graduation, chances to start at college or begin new jobs. The next, they were at home, schools canceled for the rest of the year, the future seemingly uncertain.

It is hard to put to words the devastating loss felt by many graduates during this time, as important milestones feel taken from them. In response, many parishes around the diocese have found ways to honor their graduates--high school, college, seminary, and more! As church communities, we are called to support those around us, and many parishes have found unique and creative ways to honor their seniors during this time. Find a few examples below.

Have a graduate we missed that you want to shout out? Send an email to our Communications Officer!

St. Alban's Parish, Hickory, NC

On Mother's Day, May 10, 2020, St. Alban's Parish held a virtual Youth Sunday service. Graduating seniors from the parish participated in leading prayers and reading scriptures. Watch the full Sunday service below. Congratulations to all of the St. Alban's seniors on a job well done!

Grace Episcopal Church, Morganton, NC

A unique graduate, we would like to give a special shoutout to the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church Morganton, Marshall Jolly, on his recent graduation and doctorate degree from Candler School of Theology. In celebration, the church staff, vestry, area clergy, and many parishioners participated in a surprise drive-by celebration this past Saturday, May 9, 2020. Check out this video of the surprise graduation below!

Trinity Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC

Trinity youth director Debbie Cox paid a little surprise visit to all of the graduating seniors at Trinity Episcopal Church, social distancing style! Check out the video to see their surprised reactions! Trinity also hosted a Youth Sunday on May 3, 2020, videos of which can be found on their Youtube Channel.

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Rutherfordton, NC

Seniors at St. Francis Episcopal Church, Rutherfordton, received shoutouts in the parish newsletter. Check out a few of the seniors' future plans below! St. Francis Rutherfordton will also host a Youth Sunday on May 31, 2020 to honor their graduating seniors.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Gastonia, NC

Community members at St. Mark's Gastonia are organizing a letter writing campaign for recent graduates, as well as collecting care packages for each graduate as they start their new lives post-grad! St. Mark's will also be hosting a Youth Sunday service on May 31, 2020 to honor the graduating seniors. Here the 2020 graduates from St. Mark's Gastonia.

High School

  • William Buzzeo (going to Georgia Tech)

  • Abigail Dills (going to Clemson)

  • Kiera Eaton

  • Sophia Varriale (going to App State)

  • Jake Walker (going to Western)


  • Cindy Bozarth from UNC Asheville in Computer Communication

Congratulations to all of our graduates across the diocese! We are incredibly proud of the hard work you have done, and it has not gone unrecognized even though your graduation may have been different than expected. We are praying for you and supporting you each step of the way.


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