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Infinity loop becomes symbol of new tradition in Remsen

By RENEE WEBB, Globe senior reporter
(Email Renee)

REMSEN - As the school year came to a close, St. Mary’s School celebrated with a new tradition centered on God’s unending love and the call to pass that love on to others.

It was during an all-school Mass on the final day of school that St. Mary’s first-ever Pass It On ceremony was held. The ceremony centered on juniors presenting incoming freshmen with infinity loops.

Pete Haefs, principal, said when they were discussing what symbol to use they wanted something that represented “transition, change and yet, stability.”

“We wanted something fairly permanent and that wasn't a trinket,” he said. “I thought about an infinity loop as two circles joined in a pattern that never truly begins or ends.”

The symbol for the school’s yearly theme was the redwood tree, a giant tree whose strength comes from the intertwining of its roots. Given the symbol for the year, someone had donated cedar wood to the school. St. Mary’s industrial arts teacher Paul Ahlers was able to have shop students make the infinity loops using the CNC machine.

Haefs said it is a fitting symbol because it represents the changes taking place at the end of the year: seniors graduating and moving on, current juniors moving into their leadership roles and eighth graders leaving as leaders of the middle school to become freshmen at the high school.

Given the longevity of the school, he said the image of the infinity loop tied in with something that has been around a long time and will be around for many more.

The ceremony and symbolism were meaningful to students.

Stephanie Schroeder, who just completed her junior year, liked the fact that they were able to pass the symbol on to the younger students.

“It was a symbol of welcoming them into high school and letting them know that St. Mary’s will always be here,” she said.

As the older students welcomed the younger students, Schroeder said it is a reminder for the eighth graders that they are there for them.

Draven Haefs, an incoming freshman at St. Mary’s, said it was a great way to show the faith and unite them as they enter high school.

“It symbolizes that our belief in Christ and his teachings is infinite,” he said. “It also will show me how far I've come in my school career.”

The principal said the loops serve as a reminder of “God's love for us has no beginning or end, as he knew us before conception and welcomes us to his embrace upon our mortal end so is his love an infinite loop for us.”

Moving forward, Haefs said they plan to have the eighth graders keep this loop in their possession until the conclusion of their junior year, at which time they will pass the loop on to eighth graders.

“After we have done it four times, we will hopefully have a repeating cycle that will keep the original infinity loops going through our school year after year,” Haefs said.

Abigail Tentinger, another incoming freshman, said she likes the idea of the school starting this tradition that will be passed down to more students.

“It will keep going for many years,” she said. “It makes me feel like I am going to be welcomed and I am going to be welcoming others in the future.”

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