Seniors from Montini Catholic's Class of 2022 celebrated four years of hard work, discipline and achievement on Sunday, May 22nd at the Lasallian college preparatory high school's 53rd Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremony. One-hundred and nineteen (119) graduates were honored. The Mass prior to Commencement ceremonies was celebrated by Most Reverend Ronald A. Hicks, Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet.
"You’re passing from one world to another. One is marked by having others, primarily your families, taking care of you. The other is marked by you beginning to take of yourself," said Principal Kevin Beirne. "One is marked by others ready to pick you up when you fall while the other is marked by you pushing yourself up and brushing yourself off. One is marked by adults telling you what to do and when to do it, while the other is marked by you setting your own priorities, schedules, and agendas. One is marked by your constant desire to push back and gain independence. The other is marked by the responsibility that results from that independence. One is marked by learning about the world, the other is marked by learning how you’ll make your mark in that world." Mr. Beirne reflected on the disruption of 'normalcy' caused by the pandemic which affected the Class of 2022 for the majority of their high school experience.
"Your sense of community didn’t just survive, it thrived. The disruption caused by the pandemic was more prolonged for your class than any other. Overcoming this unique challenge was not easy. As students, you could have just survived academically, getting through these four years. You decided to thrive instead. Keep that in mind as you face new challenges moving forward."
"We persevered in the face of whatever the world hurled in our direction," said valedictorian Audrey Kekstadt. "We attended classes online and in person and did our work as if nothing had happened. As we enter the reality of adulthood, we must constantly enlighten ourselves to prepare for the future. We all were created to adapt to various circumstances through learning - not just as a means of survival but also as a way to truly enjoy life to the greatest extent." Audrey concluded with words of encouragement and inspiration. "Remember this: Curiosity, passion, perseverance are what ultimately drive excellence—not intelligence alone. God created us to glorify Him through our talents so we, too, can continue to create history. We possess the responsibility of fostering our passions and abilities not for our own glory, but for His."
Before sending the graduates on their way, Principal Beirne concluded with his final words. "As you set forth after this milestone and rite of passage, please listen to that inner voice inside you, that one that has enabled you to thrive. Allow it to carry you forward and over any obstacle or challenge you’ll encounter. You’re ready not only to survive what lies ahead, but to truly thrive as you pave the way for others to follow. I promise you that as you do, your teachers and I look to your futures knowing that you’re ready to transform the world around you! Congratulations Class of 2022 - we will miss you!"