151 Graduates Celebrated at Baccalaureate Liturgy and Commencement for the Class of 2024

151 Graduates Celebrated at Baccalaureate Liturgy and Commencement for the Class of 2024

Austin Prep celebrated the Baccalaureate Liturgy and Commencement for the Class of 2024 today, Friday, May 17th on Father Seymour Field.  Friends, family, faculty, staff, Austin Prep Board of Trustees and 151 graduates came together for Mass and the conferring of diplomas for members of the Class of 2024. A full program for the Baccalaureate Liturgy can be found here.

Celebrant Most Rev. Mark O'Connell, J.C.D.Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Boston, emphasized to graduates the distinct changes that have occurred in the world since their arrival at Austin Prep.

"These four years have been significant years in the history of the whole world. It is a different place now," Bishop Mark said. "COVID, politics, war, and technology has changed us. Colleges are reeling in the suddenness of the changes. Some changes are needed, but some changes are leading us astray from basic truths, and from God. You graduates are needed to bring sanity back to institutions of higher learning."

Bishop Mark is no stranger to big days at Austin Prep. In recent years, Bishop Mark has served as the celebrant at our First Responder Blue Mass, Convocation and Baccalaureate Masses, and perhaps most notably, Austin Prep's Baccalaureate Liturgy for the Class of 2020, which was our first opportunity to come together as a community after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools across the Commonwealth in March 2020. "You have had the strangest Senior Year of any class at Austin Prep in its history," Bishop Mark told the Class of 2020.

Michael Young, Class of 2024 Salutatorian and Austin Prep Lifer, noted that while life may be unpredictable, what is most important is being involved when your opportunity comes. "Now, here we are going on to the next chapter of our lives; we will be presented with many opportunities, I encourage you, take them," Michael said. "Pursue that which makes you nervous. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. Take a second and think, what can I do to live a life of fulfillment and of accomplishment? It was Teddy Roosevelt who said. 'It is not the critic who counts, but the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.' How will you be the man or woman in the arena and ignore the critic on the sideline?"

Class of 2024 Valedictorian and Austin Prep Lifer, Anna Ferranti, reflected on how her seven year Austin Prep Journey shaped her. "In considering what Austin Prep has meant to me, it is hard to accurately quantify. I could talk about the high level of academics and the accomplishments of our students within the classroom. I could talk about our athletic programs and their multitudinous successes. I could talk about the compelling artistic pursuits that take the stage each year. I could talk about the vast array of clubs initiated and run by students to follow the soaring trajectories of their passions," Anna said.

"But the truth is, these aren’t the things that really mattered to me. What mattered was all of the little things in between. Because what was truly special about Austin Prep isn’t what it made us, it’s who it made us," Anna added.

While addressing the graduates, James Hickey, Ph.D. P’22, ’23, ’24, '27, took the opportunity to share some final bits of Augustinian wisdom about the restless journey they will encounter ahead.

"You will encounter storms, sometimes they’ll be actual weather patterns like the soaker that was the Senior class trip to Disney.  I remember watching a weather report while we were in Florida that it rained more than double the average rainfall in those 4 days that it does in the entire month of November, but you adapted and found a way to stay on course and make lasting memories," Dr. Hickey said. "When you hit personal storms, look inward for advice.  It’s the Augustinian things to do.  With a foundation of veritas, unitas, and caritas, your hearts will be  the compass to get you back on the right course."

"Through your Augustinian heart, God will remind you that the measure of love is that love has no measure," Dr. Hickey added.

The event included remarks from Board of Trustees Chair, Mr. Daniel Bouchard, P’10, ’14, ’15, who noted that graduates are ready to enter college, infused with the values of veritas, unitas, and caritas. "The inspired teaching and learning environment at Austin Prep is palpable. If our seniors take anything away from these ceremonies, I hope they have internalized the exhilaration for more learning. Today is just the beginning. It is where you go from here that matters," Mr. Bouchard said. "But wherever you go, cultivate the Augustinian moral sensibility and exhibit the character to apply it."

Mr. Bouchard also congratulated the Class of 2024 for being accepted to some of the top colleges and universities in the United States.

More details from the day can be found here.