With tears, tissues, thanks, hugs and goodbyes honored its final, last day of school at mass on Friday morning. , parents, teachers and members of the community came together .
Students wore T-shirts announcing what year they "should have" graduated from Nativity along with bracelets that read, "Nativity BVM 1912-2012, Forever in Our Hearts."
The Nativity students are headed in many different directions next school year. Several will head to St. Mary Magdalen School in Upper Providence, others will go to St. Thomas the Apostle in Aston, some will enter the Rose Tree Media School District and a few will head to
Janine Tempert, a 6th grade parent, said her son is on a waiting list for St. Mary Magdalen but he is registered at Mother of Providence.
"I'm open to [Mother of Providence]. I'm in two different worlds right now and I'm standing in the center of it," Tempert said. "But I want to make the healthy decision for my son."
The five, upcoming, 8th grade boys decided they would stick together next year and would travel as a pack to their new school. But when one of the five boys could not get into St. Mary Magdalen because of busing issues, all five boys switched to St. Thomas instead.
Father Ed Bell said during the mass that as the students leave the Nativity family, they will carry the heart of Nativity in their hands.
"Wherever you go, whatever you do, we'll be the hands of Christ," Bell said during mass.
Principal Mary Anne Johnston spoke after mass saying that every emotion had been exhausted and the thank you's have been said, despite feeling like 'thank you' hasn't been said enough.
She told the students (and parents) that they were starting something new and change does not have to be a bad thing.
"Sometimes when we're on a journey, God has something new for us," Johnston said. "All of you, are on a new journey."
Several students said their personal goodbyes to Johnston, hugging her after mass, and she promised to stay in touch with each of them.
The students, teachers and parents cried as they said goodbye to friends and Nativity but each will carry Nativity forever in their hearts.