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May Crowning Honors Mary, Students

April 18, 2018
By Grayce McCormick

          One of the most meaningful traditions at Mercy High School, and a Catholic ritual, is the school’s May Crowning.  It will be held on May 7 at 7 p.m. in Mercy’s gymnasium, 1501 S. 48th St.  The ceremony honors Mother Mary in the month of May by selecting a May Queen, a senior girl who exemplifies the qualities of Mary, and having her crown Mary’s statue with a circlet of flowers.  The May Queen is accompanied by a May Court, which includes representatives from each class. 

            This year’s May Queen is Madeline Elsasser who is part of a family legacy at Mercy.   Her mother, Aryn Vacanti Elsasser, graduated in 1998 and was a member of May Court her freshmen year and her grandmother, Teresa Vancura Vacanti graduated in 1973.  She is the oldest of three children; her younger sister, Emma is a freshman at Mercy, and her younger brother, Andrew attends Holy Cross. 

             Elsasser has been a Student Council representative her junior and senior year.  She has played soccer all four years, at the forward or mid-field position, and ran cross country her sophomore and junior year. A member of the Core Team for Operation Others, an organization of Catholic high schools in Omaha, Council Bluffs and Bellevue who put together food boxes for those in need for two years, she also participates in many service opportunities through the school.  She plans to attend the Dominican Republic this summer for the service immersion trip.  She was chosen to be on the Nocturne Court both her sophomore and junior year and was a member of the Scrapbook Club.    Elsasser plans on attending Creighton University where she plans to major in nursing with a focus on pediatrics, following in the footsteps of her mother. 

            When asked about being chosen, Elsasser described it as a “incredibly, humbling surprise.”

            “I like the tradition and I think it’s neat how it has evolved over the years. Hearing stories from my relatives has been touching, and being chosen myself is a huge honor,” she said.

            Joining her in the May Court are:

            Seniors: Molly Bartek-Miller and Hope Fett

            Juniors: Anne Laferla and Faustina Szalewski

            Sophomores: Sabori Cervantes and Katherine Geist

           Freshmen: Samantha Burns and Clara Jones

          The ceremony includes class processions and a blessing from Father Mike Eckley, Board of Trustees member and Pastor, St. Pius X.  Each class recites a decade from the rosary.  Then, the final decade is led by faculty, staff and the May Court.  In addition, seniors wear their caps and gowns for the first time. 

          Two Outstanding Seniors are announced at the conclusion of the ceremony.  They are kept secret until that evening.