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And now, a new beginning

Written by Peter G. Sánchez 

The last notes of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” have played out. The last cap has reached the ground after its brief celebratory flight. The last selfies with shades and smiles have been shot. The last piece of encouragement from a favorite teacher has been handed out. The last…the last…the last…

And now, the beginning.

The young graduates of South Jersey’s Catholic secondary schools are ready to leap into a larger, unknown world, using their education and the talents God has given them.

Julianna Berardi smiles at the end of Gloucester Catholic High School commencement exercises, held June 1 at the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, Saint Agnes Church, Blackwood. The nine Catholic secondary schools in South Jersey have been holding graduation ceremonies since late May. Photo by James A. McBride

“Commit to your faith…(and know that) you are not alone; he will bring you hope and joy,” Bishop Dennis Sullivan urged the young men and women when he celebrated the Baccalaureate Masses of Camden Catholic, Cherry Hill; Gloucester Catholic; Holy Spirit, Absecon; Paul VI, Haddon Heights; Saint Joseph, Hammonton; and Wildwood Catholic.

The 1,092 graduates from the six diocesan and three private (Our Lady of Mercy, Newfield; Bishop Eustace, Pennsauken; and Saint Augustine, Richland) schools were offered over $435 million in academic and athletic scholarships, from two- and four-year colleges and universities.

“Our graduating seniors have excelled academically and grown spiritually. I could not be more proud of their accomplishments. What they have received as gift to them, I am sure will be returned a hundredfold as gift to God in service to the world ” said Mary Boyle, superintendent of schools for the diocese.