May Crowning 2019, the tradition lives on

By Anna Kenney

For the Class of 2019 the days are numbered, but they still have several opportunities to celebrate their class before graduation. One of these special traditions is May Crowning. Not only does May Crowning honor a member of the senior class, but it also brings the whole Marian community together to honor Mary and to gather in faith. 

May Crowning has been a tradition for many years, but it was not an official alumnae event until 2006. Mrs. Nancy Casey, Alumnae Director, has been involved with May Crowning since she started working here in 2008. “May Crowning has become something that alumnae look forward to with their daughters,” Casey said. 

Alumnae mothers and grandmothers who have a daughter/granddaughter who is a second grader making her First Communion are welcome to come for a fun day at Marian. The second graders are given white roses to carry in the May Crowning ceremony, and afterwards they have a cupcake reception.

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Sarah Anderson, the 2019 Marian May Queen, stands behind some of the First Communicant daughters of alumnae.  Photo by Abby Butler.

From the gathering of the entire student body, to the singing of the “Ave Maria” and to the procession of the second graders in their First Communion dresses, May Crowning lives in the hearts of Marian alums for years after they graduate. The senior class chooses one of their peers who demonstrates a deep sense of faith as their May Queen. 

“I trust our senior class to choose who they feel is a great May Queen to represent their class,” Liturgical Minister Mrs. Anna Kolterman said. “They always do a great job in the selection process and that is true for this year.” Senior Sarah Anderson was not only chosen as the 2019 Prom Queen, but also as this year’s May Queen.

“I think Sarah is perfect for May Queen because she always puts others first and you never see her being negative,” senior Maria Kleinsmith said. “She shows up everywhere with a smile and I think it helps others be better, seeing her give off such a positive attitude.” 

“She is a role model in the Marian community who lives out her faith by leading by example, serving others, and sharing her gifts and talents,” senior Carolyn Griffin said. 

“It is a huge honor, and I am so lucky to have classmates that motivate me to do my best,” Anderson said. Anderson is planning to attend the College of St. Mary next year where she will be playing soccer and studying biology. 

This past Tuesday, May 7, Anderson had the honor of crowning Mary in the gym. Even though the location was different because of construction on campus, the ceremony was no less beautiful and moving. Senior Mia McGrath agrees that Anderson is the perfect choice for May Queen. “She is the most kind, loving, and genuine person I know, with a faith life that knows no bounds,” McGrath said. Anderson and McGrath have been friends since they used to walk home from grade school together. McGrath introduced Anderson as the May Queen with a touching speech at the beginning of the ceremony. 

The May Crowning ceremony helped solidify the Marian community in faith. “Each young women who is educated in the Servite tradition at Marian is in formation to live Marian Identity as she goes forth into the world,” Kolterman said. “The tradition of May Crowning at the conclusion of the year, highlights that core value, as the selected May Queen speaks to the whole student body on the topic of living like Mary.”

Anderson addressed the student body with a moving speech in which she reflected on Mary. She also focused on being a disciple by doing good works every day. “If you try your best in all that you do, whether it is or isn’t your best, doesn’t matter,” Anderson said, “the fact that you tried will always be good enough.” 

Anderson was a witness of a strong faith as this year’s May Queen. Her inspiring words encouraged the student body. “When things get out of hand, let God take control,” Anderson said. “Be strong in your faith, stand up for what you believe in, and have a heart of  gold.” Although many students hope that May Crowning goes back outside next spring, the tradition will continue.

SIDEBAR STORY:

ROSIE ANDERSON: A MARIAN GIRL IN THE MAKING

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Mini May Queen • Rosie Anderson, history teacher Mr. David Anderson’s daughter, sits side by side with the other second grade students. 24 second grade students participated in the 2019 ceremony. Photo by Abby Butler.

This year a special second grader joined the Marian community for May Crowning. History teacher, Mr. David Anderson’s daughter Rosie, a second grader at Holy Cross, was among the ranks of the first communicants at May Crowning. 

Anderson described Rosie as having a type A personality. “She is competitive and does not like to be late while at the same time is goofy and silly,” Anderson said. “I think she will fit in well at Marian one day.” 

It means a lot to Anderson to see his daughter participate in the May Crowning ceremony. “Rosie has a strong faith, and I can’t wait to see her on the day we do May Crowning,” Anderson said. 

Anderson describes the significance of coming together to celebrate May Crowning. “It is important to gather as a community and remind ourselves about the selflessness and holiness of Mary,” Anderson said. “It brings us closer to Mary and is a reflection of our Marian Identity.”

Freshman Ryan Sully remembers when she came to Marian for May Crowning when she was in second grade. “I was very shy, and I was the only one from my grade school going,” Sully said. “I did end up making some friends that I took pictures with.”

Sully’s older sister, junior Colleen Sully, also was able to participate in May Crowning as a second grader. Their mom, Sheila Lynch Sully, is a graduate of the Class of 1987. 

Colleen Sully, like her sister, also fondly remembers her experience. “I remember being really excited to skip school to see Marian because I knew that I would be coming here for high school,” Sully said. “I was also really nervous to be around all of the older girls. I just thought it was fun to see the whole school together.” 

May Crowning is enhanced by the joy that the second grade first communicants add to the ceremony. Seeing how excited they are to be part of the Marian community puts a smile on everyone’s faces. It also gives a sign of hope for the future of Marian, as one can envision these young girls of faith growing up to be lights to the world when they enter high school. 

Rosie is excited for her own Field Days, potentially having her father as her history teacher  and to walk the halls of Marian, sharing her spunk and faith with the Class of 2029.

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