Mary Emily Myers
Outlook Valley Sun
St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church recently held its annual Interfaith Baccalaureate Service to honor high school seniors.
St. Bede’s the Rev. James Bevacqua welcomed guests who gathered to celebrate the Class of 2023 on achieving an important milestone: graduating.
La Cañada High School Principal James Cartnal shared a message with students during his opening remarks: “Hope for a better tomorrow, engage, be kind, work hard at what you love and care for others.”
During the service, Delia Benor read from the torah, Cassie Huston read Judeo-Christian scripture, Chase Kelly read from the Book of Mormon, Hans Schierholt read Christian scripture and Hakeem Shindy read from the Quran.
Speaker Javad Hashmi gave the keynote address, titled “The Confluence of Civilizations: Finding the Common Thread of Our Religious Traditions.”
Student also spoke at the event, including Colin Andersen, Joanna Gropper, Cassie Huston, Umar Saleem and Willian Wade.
Additionally, Christie Frandsen was honored with a crystal plaque for her more than 20 years of organizing this event. The award was presented to Frandsen by fellow LCF Interfaith Baccalaureate Planning Team member Mike Leininger.
The team members include Frandsen of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, Leininger and Andre Nicdao of St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church, Anna Duncan of La Cañada Presbyterian Church, Gilda Vartanians of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley, and Levent Akbarut and Mohamed Etman of the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge.
First published in the June 15 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.