My scrapbook from what was, unless I’ve forgotten missing one, my 19th commencement ceremony Wednesday evening at St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita, where I used to serve as vicar.

Acting head of school Sheryll Tello Grogan presided, and chaplain Patti Peebles prayed us in. After a stirring address by our interim priest in charge and a retired military chaplain, the Rev. Jerry Sather, who urged the class of 2024 to aim high and be all they could be, we heard outstanding student talks by Kosta Valaskantjis, Siena Altro, Timothy Xanthos, and Elsa Hu. Student choristers did a lovely job under Lisa Naulls’ direction, with our old friend Gary Toops at piano and organ.

Along with Kathy Hannigan O’Connor, I was there to lift up the school’s partnership in leadership, including bishop’s warden Paul Hinson and school committee chair Erica Bogardus, and also present the John Harvey Taylor award for excellence in oral and written communications to graduate Jason Ross.

Also graduating were Luke and Ella, as their proud parents Dan and Lydia Welton Schimmelpfenig looked on. I’ve known the twins since they were toddlers and used to say, in my best James Earl Jones, “Luke, I am your Fr. John.” When I saw him tonight, I asked him if it had freaked him out. “It kind of did,” he said with a graduate’s smile.