May crowing has always been a cherished practice at NDA. This year, as other years, the privilege of doing the honors—crowning the statue of Mary and carrying the crown—have gone to the two students whose essays were chosen by the judges. Since excerpts have been lifted from both essays, this blog is rather long. However, reading it may lift your spirit to the Queen of the May. Shannon Wilson crowned Mary’s statue, and Brittany White was her attendant.
“As I sat on my bed, reading the letter I wrote to myself at Sophomore Retreat, I realized what a big impact Mary has had on my own life. In my letter, I wrote about how Mary had been the focus of our day. We reflected on how she has played such a pivotal role in the shaping of our school community as well as in our own lives. I expressed in my letter, a newfound love for the Mother of God… I found that praying to Mary could provide me with new possibilities to grow in my faith that I hadn’t yet explored in my relationship with the Father.
“So I began learning abut Mary, trying to understand how such a young girl could say yes to the most important question in existence. In this newfound relationship, I began trying to place myself in the shoes of 13-year-old Mary. I began reflecting on what my answer would be if God asked me to be mother to the savior. I quickly realized that I would not have had the same courage that Mary had. There is no way I would have been able to face the judgment from society. I would feel as though God was asking too much of me. This reluctance challenged me. As I began reflecting on the life of Mary, I challenged myself to live a better life of faith. Mary quickly became my role model and I knew that if I could even trust God a fraction as much as Mary did, my life would completely change.
“…In preschool at Julie Learning Center, I vividly remember our May Crowning Ceremony. I didn’t really understand much about it, but I knew it was a big deal. I had the privilege of putting the crown on the strange statue’s head. Whatever I was doing was important because we all stood there in silence a little bit. I remember feeling this great deal of pride for being a part of such a special ceremony.
“Being able to crown Mary is such an honor for me in my last month as a senior. She has grown to be one of my biggest faith role models and I love that I am able to show her a bit of thanks for all she has done for me. I am honored to represent the Class of 2015 in the crowning of Mary, the foundation of our school. My May Crowning experience is now coming full circle and ends my time with the Sisters of Notre Dame in the same beautiful way started: with the recognition of the majesty in the Blessed Mother.”
These are Brittany’s thoughts:
“At fourteen years old, Mary, the Mother of God, was able to make a life altering decision which saved the world. How amazing! I can tell you with confidence that may girls who attend Notre Dame , including myself, desire to change the world in some way, whether it be through politics, research, or religion. Personally I desire to change the world with my religion… (Mary) didn’t know why God was calling on her for this task, but she did it and had so much faith in His plan. ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word’ I can remember very few of the serious decisions that I had to make as a fourteen year old, yet nothing could’ve ever compared to the gravity of Mary’s yes to God. Such a young girl with a great deal of faith! She knew that God had a plan for her and she entrusted her well being to Him without a second thought. That is what I desire, that trust, love, (and) commitment to God. I want to be so faith filled and trusting in God that when I know He’s calling to me I’ll go and do for Him whatever He wants. This school dedicated to Mary has made me realize the importance of Mary’s yes, and I can only hope to be so willing like she was. Why is it that we are so afraid of how God wants to use us tin this World? Do we fear that the road we’ll take is one we won’t like?
“…Mary helps me to see the role I play as a woman of faith, someone who isn’t afraid to trust in God or afraid to allow God into (her) daily life.”