Congratulations graduates of the Class of 2016!
The high school graduates representing the Class of 2016 leave an undeniable mark on the history of each of our Catholic schools as their contributions, their creative thinking, their talents and their passion for learning were realized and expressed. The 1,693 graduates are saluted for their focused academic performance and for being awarded in excess of $222.5 million in scholarships and grants.
The Baccalaureate Masses and Graduation Ceremonies were filled with beauty reflecting traditions that make each school unique. The patriotism displayed, the resounding melodic strains from the choirs, the remarks of valedictorians and salutatorians, the presence of alumni celebrating their 50th anniversary, and the appreciation and thanks extended to retiring teachers all contributed to make the ceremonies impactful and memorable. Tender moments in which good wishes and final reminders were extended underscored the commitment of administrators and their pride and investment in the graduates.
Sincere thanks are extended to the parents of the graduates for partnering with our Catholic school communities. A solid, faith-based environment provided the venue for students’ horizons and knowledge to be expanded. Recognition and thanks for inspiring, guiding and forming students are extended to administrators, faculty and staff for investing in the students each day.
As graduates of Catholic high schools, the students have learned and have lived the tenets of our Catholic faith and the message of Jesus. Service to the broader community is part of each student’s experience. While a minimum number of hours are expected, it is most common that the time invested in service exceeded the expectations. Student service included working with the Habitat for Humanity in building homes for the less fortunate, preparing lunches for the homeless, caring for the elderly, working summer camps for children living in shelters.
Their work with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the American Red Cross and the NJ Special Olympics defines their commitment to service as a way of life and a cornerstone of the educational experience. Through hours of service, through kindness, and by seeing the face of God in others, graduates made an imprint on the lives of many.
In Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: On the Care for Our Common Home, he poses the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”
Having experienced the dignity, the confidence and maturity, the commitment and unique perspective of the graduating students, it is apparent that our world will benefit from their talents, from their wise reflection and decision-making and from their creativity and imagination.
Graduates, as you continue your personal journey, savor the beauty and gift of life. Recognize the life-giving energy that God has placed in you. Work to develop your gifts and capacity to the fullest as you contribute to an ever-changing world.
Congratulations and God’s blessings, graduates of the Class of 2016!
Click on links to view stories and photo galleries of High School Baccalaureate Masses and Commencement Exercises:
Holy Cross Academy, Delran
Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville
Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton
Stuart Country Day School, Princeton
Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing
St. Rose High School, Belmar
St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel
Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft
Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank
Mater Dei Prep, New Monmouth
Donovan Catholic, Toms River