Catholic high school graduates reflect on faith, education and more


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Davenport celebrated the graduations of 219 students this spring. One student from each school reflected on the question: How has your Catholic faith shaped your high school experience?


Burlington Notre Dame School graduated 32 students May 26 during a ceremony in the gym.


Elizabeth Hamma, daughter of Corey and April Hamma of Dallas City, Illinois and members of Sacred Heart Parish in Dallas City, offers this reflection:


“Attending a Catholic school since kindergarten has been the biggest blessing of my life. Notre Dame is not just a school, but a family. My religion teachers, Mrs. Baxter and Mrs. Roth, work hard to make sure that students do not think of religion as a class but as their faith. They organized the senior pilgrimage to Wisconsin where we visited Holy Hill and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, which is the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States. This trip was so interesting and amazing. I am thankful for the opportunity to have visited. Inside and out of school I am very active in my faith. I am privileged to have two faith communities, my home parish in Illinois and my school parish in Iowa. I serve my churches as an altar server, an (extraordinary minister of Holy Communion) and a lector. I was also a part of Good News 2, which sings at all the school Masses. I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended Notre Dame. It has allowed me to build a deeper relationship with our Lord and grow closer to him. I cannot imagine my life without the influence of Notre Dame.”


Prince of Peace Catholic School graduated 12 students during a May 19 ceremony in Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Church.

Madison Schnier, daughter of Dave and Laura Schnier of Clinton and members of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton, shares this reflection:


“I am an actively participating member of Prince of Peace Parish. My Catholic faith has been a strong foundation for me throughout my high school experiences. My school community along with my parish acted as a strong support system and helped me to deepen my Catholic values. Whether I was playing a varsity sport, planning a school activity or just interacting with my peers, my Catholic values helped me make good decisions. Whenever I felt lost or nervous about my future I always had my faith to fall back on. I know my strong faith foundation will help me through hardships my whole life and I am fortunate enough to have grown this foundation throughout high school.”


Assumption High School graduated 106 students during a May 26 ceremony in the gym.

Nathan Cameron, son of Laura Cameron of Davenport, is a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport and shares his reflection:


“I have gone to Catholic school my whole life thanks to the constant support and love from my mom, Laura Cameron. I went to school at my parish, St. Paul’s, then moved on to Assumption High School. Religion has surrounded me throughout my academic journey. Being surrounded by teachers and students who are Catholic and being able to learn about my faith has helped me both spiritually and academically. Knowing that I have a community that cares about me and is willing to help me has motivated me to go above and beyond in my studies. Being able to talk about God and go to Mass with my peers gave me a sense of community and belonging. I have an Assumption family who is always behind me, to support me wherever I go and in whatever I do. The constant reassurance by others has helped lift me up in my faith when I am feeling low and strengthened my relationship with Jesus Christ. I would not be the student or person I am if it were not for my belief in the Church and the constant support of a Catholic education behind me.”

Fort Madison

Holy Trinity Jr. /Sr. High school graduated 17 students during a May 19 ceremony at the school.

Marybeth Scheetz, daughter of Brian and Elizabeth Scheetz of Burnside, Illinois and members of Holy Family Parish in Fort Madison, shared this reflection:


“When I came to Holy Trinity Catholic High School I was shy and nervous. My shyness and low confidence kept me from getting involved in school activities. I went to church on the weekends and it seemed like one of the few places I could get involved and not feel shy or nervous. I was a server and eventually, in my sophomore year, I became (an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion). Being able to provide others with the body of Jesus Christ was just a step in finding my way through my high school journey. I joined the Saint John Frassati Club, where we prayed together and did service projects. I found more friends who had a passion for their faith here. When I found my passion for Christ, my high school life changed. I was no longer scared to get involved, I did it because I knew God wanted me to. As a senior, I was cheer captain, Culinary Club president, Saint John Frassati Club president, and much more. Helping at school Mass to seek Christ and deliver him to others changed my high school experience. I encourage others to get involved, seek Christ and stay faithful.”

Iowa City

Regina Junior/Senior High School graduated 52 students during a May 19 ceremony in the gym.

Ian Udell, son of Ron and Kristen Udell of Iowa City and members of St. Mary Parish in Iowa City, shares his thoughts:


“Throughout my years at Regina, I found myself asking more questions about the faith and every year I dove deeper into theology and philosophy. I am forever grateful that my Catholic faith and my high school experience could be intertwined so incredibly.”

My Catholic faith has definitely shaped the way I acted. Whether inside or outside the classroom, in sports or in Mass, the way I conducted myself was definitely a byproduct of my Catholic faith,” Udell said. “Being extroverted and Catholic in high school have been blessings in my life. I was able to make friends easily and show them that being faithfully Catholic was not weird or strange. My Catholic faith has also shaped who I hung out with and who my friends were. I have created lifelong friendships through my Catholic faith and Catholic schooling that I will forever treasure. Were it not for my Catholic faith, I would not have gone to summer camps and retreats that have helped me discern and shape my high school experience and my life. My Catholic faith has formed my high school experience definitely for the better.”

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *