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Catholic high school graduation section finale includes remaining ceremonies from Diocese of Wilmington

Ss. Peter and Paul High School commencement.

The Dialog promised two things in early June when we went ahead with the digital production of our annual graduation section for high schools in the Diocese of Wilmington.

First, we acknowledged that not all of our schools had held their graduations at that point and we vowed to complete and distribute the digital version of the section when everything was finished.

We fulfilled that promise as the last of Ss. Peter and Paul High School, St. Thomas More Academy, Ursuline Academy and Archmere Academy wrapped up the school year in the last half of June. The completed graduation section is linked in this article.

Second, we said we would print the section with our first edition to be published at the end of our suspension of publication due to coronavirus. We hope to return to publication soon.

To say 2020 has been a challenge for schools and students — high school seniors, in particular — is an understatement that bears the weight of a coronavirus pandemic that shutdown everything known as normal to people everywhere the last three months of the academic year.

(CLICK HERE for the 16-page graduation section).

Social distancing, contact tracing, Zoom, lawn signs, Google Classroom, distance learning, dispensation and so many more words that had little meaning before the middle of March came to be known as part of a drastic life change.

Proms for most everyone, musical productions for some and spring sports seasons all around were just a few of the rites of passage eliminated for this Class of 2020.

And then there were graduations.

(Getty Images)

Scrambling to maintain safety precautions aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus, schools were charged with maintaining health while attempting to create special moments for these seniors who have been deprived of so much.

The Diocese of Wilmington uniquely encompasses two states, another curveball in trying to present a return to normalcy. Guidelines in Delaware and Maryland were similar but different when it came to large gathering restrictions and other precautions.

Through it all, administrators, teachers, parents, families and students endured. It was all part of the same tumultuous menu of disarray provided by coronavirus.

The Dialog was not immune. The biweekly newspaper of the Diocese of Wilmington shifted to an online-only presence in mid-March when Bishop Malooly decided not to have public Masses until it was safe to do so. The print edition is distributed in churches, so without its point-of-pickup venues, the newspaper could not reach its regular audience in 56 parishes and other Catholic facilities.

Still, the newspaper’s graduation section is annually one of the highlights for the newspaper. The keepsake edition was scheduled for June 5. Editors, reporters and business operations people were determined to provide this senior class what it has for the better part of a half century.

We updated this digital section in the last several weeks as more became available.

May it be a joyous gift to the ever-stronger Class of 2020.