Austin Prep Begins 60th Anniversary with Convocation Liturgy

Austin Prep Begins 60th Anniversary with Convocation Liturgy

On Friday, September 9th, Austin Prep marked the official start of the academic year with the celebration of Convocation Liturgy. Austin Prep welcomed Bishop Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, as the principal celebrant and homilist. The celebration, open to parents and livestreamed to the school community, also served as the kick-off event for Austin Prep's 60th Anniversary Celebration. You can view photos from the day here.

Complete with the pageantry expected of Convocation – including the procession of students carrying class banners, welcomed by faculty in academic regalia to the sounds of bagpipers – this year's liturgy also included a parade of flags representing the national heritages of those in our school community. Over 70 national flags were included.


Jackie Brand '23, School-Wide Student Government President, began the ceremony by addressing her classmates. "Today's Convocation Mass offers us the opportunity to remember that Jesus tells us that He is present when two or more gather in his name," Jackie said. "I'm very excited for today as it marks the beginning of what I know will be an incredible year celebrating our 60th Anniversary."

Bishop O'Connell drew connections between students making serious efforts in their academic pursuits to committing to a life of faith. 

"This is a beginning. We all have beginnings. We begin every day. But we also have critical beginnings," Bishop O'Connell said. "We can all slide by in life, but there is nothing in the world that will change your life more than beginning a journey of faith. Nothing in your life that will bring you more peace, nothing in your life that will bring you more joy."

Head of School, Dr. James Hickey P'22, '23, '24 '27, welcomed parents, grandparents, Trustees, officials from the Town of Reading, and members of the Order of Malta to the Mass. While referencing Austin Prep's 60th Anniversary and the welcoming of the first students in September 1963, Dr. Hickey made note of the attendance of Fr. Art Johnson, O.S.A., who was instrumental in opening Austin Prep's doors in 1963, as well as Fr. Peter Gori '70, one of Fr. Art's first students.

Dr. Hickey, Bishop Mark O'Connell, Fr. Peter Gori '70 and Fr. Art Johnson joined by Knights of the Sovereign Order of Malta.


“Each year we adopt a theme to guide the focus of the academic year. This year's theme is taken from the Book of Proverbs, 'Whoever walks with integrity, walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out,'" Dr. Hickey said. "Integrity is doing the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do. It's acting in accordance with deeply held beliefs. It's acting with sterling character."

To mark the occasion, School-Wide Student Government Officers Valeria Centinaro '23 and  Fiona Cullen '23 presented the Class of 2023 banner, which will eventually be hoisted to the rafters of Meelia Hall, where it will remain until being lowered at Baccalaureate Mass in May, 2023. View the raising of the banner here.