Montini Catholic said farewell to graduating seniors on Sunday, May 19th at our fiftieth annual Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement. The Mass, held in the West Wing Field House at 10:00 a.m., was presided over by Rev. Burke Masters, Director of Adult Formation and Secretary for Christian Formation at the Diocese of Joliet. The ceremonies wrapped up two weeks of graduation celebrations and activities including the annual Academic Awards Banquet held on Thursday, May 2nd and Founder's Day Award Ceremony held on Friday May 17th.
"As you relish this moment, you must ask yourself what you're passing from and what you're passing to," said Principal Kevin Beirne. "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. 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."
Valedictorian, Olivia Herrmann, also addressed her fellow students. "We all quickly realized that high school is nothing like 'High School Musical.' No Troy Bolton, no dancing on tables, no singing our way down the graduation aisle. Instead our focus was on our future - and where we go from here. We checked off all of the lists: last dance, last football game, last test - everything led up to this moment. (At Montini) we have been empowered to learn and make a difference in a variety of ways."
"One of the greatest gifts Montini has given us, though, is one another," she continued. "We have been given another family, and that is something that I am forever grateful for. Ahead of us stands life - the people we are to meet and the places we are to go. Learn from our time here, and the memories that have made us who we are."
Following the Mass, Commencement Exercises began with a meditation/performance of "Like An Eagle" by Montini's Chamber and Varsity Choirs. Senior members of the choirs left their seats and joined their peers for one last performance together.
"Today's celebration, though a culmination of much work, captures a moment in time. A brief pause as you travel from one phase to another," concluded Mr. Beirne. "Having had the privilege of working with you these past four years, I've no doubt that you are ready to cross over into this next phase of life."