Montini Catholic said farewell to 177 graduating seniors on Sunday, May 20th at their forty-ninth annual Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement. The Mass, held in the school's West Wing Field House at 10:00 a.m., was presided over by Rev. John Belmonte, S.J., Ph.D., Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Joliet. "On this great day, we give God glory," he said as he welcomed graduates and their families. "It is time to go and set the world on fire. Take the divine flame of faith into the far corners of the world!"
The ceremonies wrapped up two weeks of graduation celebrations and activities including the annual Academic Awards Banquet held on Thursday, May 3rd and Founder's Day Award Ceremony held on Friday May 18th.
"Our 52nd year of education has been a great one," said President Jim Segredo. "I am proud of the academic achievement of our students and the many awards earned in our extracurricular programs!" Students of Montini Catholic's class of 2018 have been offered over $20 million in academic scholarships. "This year we recognized two National Merit commended scholars, five Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars, four AP Scholar with Honors and two with Distinction as well as thirty-seven Illinois State Scholars," Segredo said.
Valedictorian Monica Oleski addressed her fellow students. Her speech was followed by a call to worship on what was Pentecost Sunday. Salutatorians, Christopher Hejny and Phallyn Habercoss also took part in the Mass as readers. Pope Paul VI Award Recipients, Jacob Mondschean, Abigail Wolf and Jake Karczewski read the intercessions. At the conclusion of Mass, Father Belmonte presented Principal Maryann O'Neill with a special, vintage prayer card depicting the Lasallian high school's founder and patron saint of teachers, St. John Baptist de La Salle, to commemorate her last graduation ceremony as the school's principal. A tearful Mrs. O'Neill received a rousing applause and standing ovation from students and families.
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.
"Parents, four years ago, you brought your children to us," said Principal Maryann "O'Neill "Today, we return to you young, Lasallian adults who are more than ready for the next step in their journey."