Seniors celebrate graduation 

By Bonny Van

The Catholic Commentator

Group pictures, high-fives, hugs and laughter. It’s a list of ingredients that result in one thing during the month of May: high school graduation. The scene was repeated, over and over, from St. John the Evangelist High School in Plaquemine to Catholic of Pointe Coupee High School in New Roads and Ascension High School in Donaldsonville, even to downtown Baton Rouge, where the Raising Cane’s River Center played host to St. Michael the Archangel High School, Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s Academy graduations.  

Before one ceremony, Bishop Robert  W. Muench walked through the lines of excited students, visiting with them and even cracking jokes. When he saw one student using a miniature fan to cool off from the mixture of nerves, confined crowded area and bright sunshine coming through a wall of windows, the bishop said, “I see you have at least one fan here for graduation!”  

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Seniors of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond celebrate graduation Thursday, May 17. The ceremony was held at Holy Ghost Church in Hammond.  Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator 


Following a burst of laughter, Bishop Muench launched another joke, “See? Graduation is a BREEZE!”  

After the processions of students, there were greetings and speeches from salutatorians and valedictorians, respectively.  

“What a joy to be with all of you and congratulations to our wonderful recipients of your diploma!” said Bishop Muench to the seniors. “You deserve it! God bless you!”  


Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads. Photos by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator 


“You are more than a group of individuals. You are a class with class, except for the fact that you don’t have to come back to this school for class anymore,” Bishop Muench told graduates, which was followed by cheers and applause. “I invite you to use these last moments to remember where you have been, to savor with whom you have been, to hold dear the values that you have learned and to thank God for the gift of everyone in your class and in your school. And I challenge you, for the course of your lives, to be available to any of your classmates who might need a word of support or encouragement or assistance, especially during times of trial and difficulty. Young people, you have bonded with one another and with your school, and as you leave, that bond is not severed but it’s fortified and it’s strengthened.”  

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Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator  


“We congratulate families on the graduation of their seniors,” said Dr. Melanie Verges, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “I personally like to participate in that celebration. It’s such a great occasion.”  


St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge. Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator 

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St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator  

St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge  Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator  

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Catholic High School in Baton Rouge Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator