Seniors Receive Rings, Are Called to Servant Leadership

IMG_1025The Class of 2018 received their senior rings Aug. 24,  the most outward symbol that graduation is near and that they are part of the rich tradition of Brother Martin High School.

The Rev. Paul Hart, who officiated, reminded seniors that they are part of something larger than themselves. When life gives them challenges, the many life lessons they have learned as Crusaders will get them through. And when there are successes, Hart added, that will come, too, from the guidance learned through the school.

“Congratulations, gentlemen,” Hart said, “You are the best of the best.”

Principal Ryan Gallagher addressed more than 1200 families and seniors before the rings were given to each student, and reminded the young men that they are part of a larger family of faith. He challenged the seniors to become servant leaders.

“Servant leadership is vital to who we are as a Brother Martin community – a concept you are being called to embrace in earnest tonight as you receive your class ring – and it is a concept that you can carry with you as you face the difficulties, the challenges life will throw your way,” Gallagher said. “As proof of its power – a power binded in Faith – you need look no further than the man sitting to your left and right. You need look no further than the more than 15,000 Brother Martin alums who have come before you; or the 149 years heritage of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans.”

The school’s literature calls the Senior Ring Mass a reminder that the students are “part of the rich tradition that has been passed on by the many men who have ventured forth from the halls of St. Aloysius, Cor Jesu and Brother Martin High schools.”

Thursday night’s religious ceremony marked the blessing of the rings and the celebration by the community. It was full of elegance and tradition, and acknowledgement of Brother Martin High School’s history and faith.

The ring itself harks back to the school’s history and rich with the community’s cultural heritage. It connects past and future, and is a reminder of the steadfast presence in New Orleans of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The symbols and traditions of the ring include:

  • The crimson stone is encircled by a chain which represents the consolidation in 1969 of St. Aloysius and Cor Jesu High Schools into Brother Martin High School. 
  • Brother Martin crest: Incorporated into the crest are five symbols that reflect the rich tradition of Catholic education that shapes the mission of Brother Martin High School. 
  • The cross, at the center of the shield, represents the central place that Jesus holds in the school and our students’ lives.
  • The arms of this cross embrace four icons which serve to identify Brother Martin. The upper left quadrant contains the image of a heart, recalling both the love of Christ and the 148-year ministry of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and their partners in mission in New Orleans. Below this, the fleur-de-lis is reminiscent of New Orleans and its French cultural heritage. A book, representing learning, occupies the upper right of the field. A torch, symbolizing the light of Christ and a striving for excellence, completes the crest.
  • Surmounting the crest is the engraved representation of a pelican. The state bird of Louisiana, the pelican, represents steadfastness and a commitment to the future.
  • To the right of the crown is the engraved image of a Crusader. The ideal of the Crusader – the ideal that challenges all students at Brother Martin – is to put Christ before all else and to respond to His challenge to spread the gospel to all nations.

On Friday, the seniors headed off to the ‘Fun in the Sun’ Day,  a time to have fun and bond as upperclassmen.