COATS Celebrates Class of 2021 at First-Ever Commencement

HATS OFF! The graduating class of 2021 is formally presented at the conclusion of the Dec. 10th ceremony held at Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church.

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Covenant of Avalon Theological Seminary (COATS) graduated its first-ever class on Friday, December 10th, 2021 in a ceremony held at Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church.

The ceremony celebrated two honorary doctorate recipients, Rev. Dr. Paolo Santo, for his years of work in the field of pastoral care and counseling, and Dr. Thomasina Winslow, for her years of work in music instruction and ministry to at-risk youth. Each offered remarks which included thanks and personal messages of advice and inspiration to the graduating class.

Dr. Santo delivers remarks after accepting a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, for his legacy of compassionate pastoral care within the spiritual community.

“My very best wishes to today’s graduates,” said Dr. Winslow in her remarks. “As you go along in your ministry; as you teach, as you lead, as you serve, let it be known that it is an exchange of information,” Dr. Winslow said, speaking of how we each in the pastoral vocation continue to learn even from those we teach.

The assembly was then treated to a live performance of “Lord Send Me” by Dr. Winslow, a song from her sophomore album Essential Tunes (2002, Thomasina Winslow Productions).

Dr. Winslow honors the graduates with a performance of her song, “Lord Send Me” from her sophomore album Essentials Tunes (2002, Thomasina Winslow Productions).

The class elected Sis. Caitríona Dreamweaver as their speaker, who delivered a rousing and inspirational speech on the element of fire and personal transformation.

The class speaker, Sis. Caitríona “Dreamweaver” Draíocht Fhiáin delivers an inspirational speech on the element of fire and personal transformation.

Graduating with Bachelors degrees in Religious and Metaphysical Arts were Sis. Cathain MacCarthaigh (summa cum laude), Sis. Caitríona “Dreamweaver” Draíocht Fhiáin (magna cum laude), and Sis. Charlie Gonzalez (cum laude). Graduating magna cum laude at the Associate’s degree level was Sis. Fachea Lathey.

Sis. Charlie Gonzalez accepts her Bachelor of Religious and Metaphysical Arts degree.

“Special recognition to our two honorees here today, Dr. Paolo Santo and Dr. Thomasina Winslow,” said M. Rev. Archdruid E.J. OakLore in his remarks, “(and) not least of all to mention our graduates … who really put in just an amazing amount of work to be deserving of what we’re doing here today.” He went on to characterize the ceremony as the result of a vision spanning many iterations of the church and school to have come before. “So to be standing here today on this dais with these amazing women–and token man–it is not just a privilege or an honor, it is the culmination of a long-held dream.”

Congratulations COATS class of 2021! May your achievements be joyfully celebrated, and your continuing journey be richly blessed!

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