With the presentation of the medal of St. Augustine and a personal blessing, each member of Malvern Prep’s class of 2015 was formally welcomed into the Malvern community at a special brotherhood ceremony today in the school’s O’Neill Sports Center.
“The brotherhood of Malvern Prep is alive and real,” said Rev. James Flynn, O.S.A., Malvern’s Head of School. “It is a process. And that process begins today. Over the next four years you will journey from strangers to acquaintances, from acquaintances to friends, and from friends to brothers.”
The entire student body and the families of the class of 2015 were on hand for the ceremony, which brought together Malvern’s two groups of freshman students – those who had attended Malvern for middle school and those who were entering in the ninth grade.
As Flynn said during the ceremony, “Many of you are new to Malvern. It is exciting to have you here. We have waited three years for you to arrive, and now our class is complete. This is your school now. Be proud of that, and both on the campus and off, represent us well.”
After a short welcome by the school’s president, James Stewart, an opening prayer by Rev. Anthony M. Genovese, O.S.A., Prior Provincial of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, a reading by senior Student Council President Thomas Anthony Pitt and a homily by Flynn, the members of the class of 2015 were presented with St. Augustine medals, which were placed around their necks by their parents or guardians. The medals depict the image of St. Augustine, the founder of the Augustinian Order of priests who established and support Malvern Prep, and reflect the students’ new status as Malvern Friars. Each student and his family were then blessed by one of five Augustinians participating in the ceremony. The new Friars then signed their name in a class of 2015 ledger, which symbolized their acceptance into the Malvern community.
Following a reading by Fr. Christopher Drennen, O.S.A. from the Confessions of St. Augustine, in which Augustine reflects on his life with his fellow students, Flynn offered a charge to the freshman class.
“You will hear those words again,” Flynn said, referring to the reading. “We will come together again at the Senior Tribute in May 2015, and the school will pay tribute to you for your accomplishments over these next four years. Scholars and artists and athletes will be saluted. Championships will be celebrated. We will honor you not just for what you have done in these four years upon which you today embark, but on who you have become over those four years. On that day, we will not have to tell you how successful you have become. You will already know it. You will know it by how close you have come to the ideal that St. Augustine just placed before you in the reading you have just heard. To talk and laugh, to read some good books together, to teach each other and to learn from each other, to become out of many, one. The Friars. The Brotherhood of Malvern Prep. The Class of 2015.”
More photos from the Brotherhood Ceremony will soon be available in the Photo Gallery.