The day of Notre Dame’s first Stella Maris Leadership Award Presentation dawned bright and sunny. On Thursday July 8, those students who’d received a Silver or Gold Award were invited into college to receive their certificates and badges.
The music of Sir James Macmillan's Ave Stella Maris welcomed our students as they arrived, then college principal Mrs. Justine Barlow began the celebration with words of welcome. She explained why the Stella Maris Award is so important, telling those assembled that it, “demonstrates your leadership skills. Every virtue, every positive habit you chose to practice is an example for others, and this example makes you a leader. We hope that your time at Notre Dame has prepared you to be a light for others in faith, hope and love, and that you will continue to live out the virtues and display good character in everything you do.”
Guest speaker Dr. Ann Marie Mealey, a senior lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, gave a moving speech, referencing both the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the third encyclical of Pope Francis: Fratelli Tutti, On Fraternity and Social Friendship. She told our students “we are very proud of the people you are today. As young leaders at Notre Dame, working to gain a Stella Maris Award, we want to say thank you. True leadership includes a deep understanding of the virtues and how they underpin our leadership for change in our communities. You are clearly beacons of this yourselves, inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”
After the presentation of certificates and a group photo in the sunshine, our award-winning students enjoyed a light lunch and the chance to be congratulated by their teachers.