Seniors honor their mothers at last Mother Daughter Liturgy


Libby Kaseta '22

Sacred Heart Greenwich was able to hold an in-person Mother Daughter Liturgy for the senior class and their mothers.

Sacred Heart Greenwich honored the mothers of the senior class during the annual Mother Daughter Liturgy April 28.  After an unprecedented year, this event celebrated the bond and relationships between mothers and daughters in the Sacred Heart community.  During the ceremony, two seniors and their mothers read reflections, senior Madrigals and Miss Annette Etheridge Middle and Upper School Music Teacher and Upper School Music Director provided musical accompaniment, and the Upper School was able to reconnect through a longstanding tradition.

Mary Clare Marshall ’21 and her mother embrace after reading their reflections at the Mother Daughter liturgy.  Courtesy of Ms. Christina Monaco ’14

In contrast to the traditional celebration in October during the week honoring Mater Admirabilis, this year’s liturgy occurred in May.  The month of May celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary, in addition to Mother’s Day.

Social distancing guidelines only permitted members of the senior class and their mothers to attend the service in person.  The remainder of the Upper School viewed the ceremony over Zoom.  Still, traditions from previous Mother Daughter liturgies continued, such as seniors each presenting their mother with a pink rose.

Reverend Christopher Devron, SJ, President of Fordham Preparatory School, was the celebrant of the Mass.  Reverend Devron expressed his enthusiasm about the celebration of the Mother Daughter Liturgy, specifically as his mother attended a school within the Sacred Heart Network.

In his homily, Reverend Devron referenced the history of the Mater Admirabilis fresco and offered insight into how the painting is still of relevance.  The fresco resembles a rendition of Mary, the Mother of God, as a young schoolgirl.

“She had a posture and an expression on her face that spoke about patiently trusting God,” Reverend Devron said.  “It’s not easy, this work of patient trust, but thank God because we have Mary because she grounds us.  She reminds us of the importance of reflection and contemplation.”

Senior Mary Clare Marshall and her mother, Ms. Irene Ricci, offered reflections about the strength of their relationship.  They each spoke about Ms. Ricci’s cancer diagnosis during social isolation in the spring of 2020 and how this challenge strengthened their bond.  Mary Clare shared how the comforting and accepting nature of the Sacred Heart community gave her the ability to tell her story.

Yvetslana Lafontant ’21 reflects on her relationship with her mother at the Mother Daughter Liturgy.  Courtesy of Ms. Christina Monaco ’14

“The Sacred Heart community both inspired me to write a reflection and gave me to courage to read it in front of the Upper School,” Mary Clare said.  “After being moved by so many speeches by members of the Sacred Heart community, I wanted to contribute something to the liturgy and community myself.  Although I am not a huge fan of public speaking, I knew that the community would be accepting of my story and care about what I had to say.”

In their reflections, senior Yvetslana Lafontant and her mother, Ms. Katia Lafontant, spoke of their bond and how they remained close during turbulent times.  Both Yvetslana and Ms. Lafontant emphasized the importance of persevering through obstacles with faith and prayer.  Finally, Ms. Lafontant imparted words of advice to the Upper School students.

“Girls, as you grow older, keep your faith as there will be temptation to steer you away from what is right,” Ms. Lafontant said.  “Also, have a strong moral compass with a love of diversity and cultural understanding; life will be a lot simpler.  There is so much more to life when we open our hearts to others who might not look like you or not have the same opportunity as you.  Be a blessing.”

Featured Image by Libby Kaseta ’22