Graduation ceremony at Mary Help of Christians Academy on June 8. (Beacon Photo | Joe Gigli)

Superintendent: Catholic high schools inspire grads to be faith-filled citizens


It’s a snapshot moment that lives on for a lifetime. Earlier this month, hundreds of graduates of Catholic high schools in the Paterson Diocese finally felt the excitement, pride — and relief — of receiving their diplomas, during commencement.

For this new Class of 2024, those diplomas prove they met or exceeded the requirements of their high school’s rigorous academics that will prepare them for college, vocational training, or a career. More importantly, these schools have readied these graduates for life — inspiring them to live out the Gospel, said Mary Baier, diocesan schools superintendent.

This special section of The Beacon celebrates the Class of 2024, especially graduates of the three diocesan Catholic high schools: Morris Catholic High School in Denville, Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, and DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne. All three high schools held commencement with Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney. This supplement also includes graduations of high schools run by religious orders and eighth-grade graduations by Parochial schools.

“Our graduates upheld high academic standards. That happens through a partnership between teachers and parents. These graduates have a bright future,” said Baier, who noted that 99 percent of graduates will attend two or four-year colleges and many received scholarships. “More importantly, Catholic schools model the faith to inform, form, and transform our students. That’s what makes us unique. Our schools infuse their curricula with the Gospel message and Catholic social teaching, morals, and values. This empowers our graduates to become faith-filled citizens and future stewards of their community. It also will help enrich their faith journey for the future.”

Morris Catholic graduated 88 seniors on June 6. It reported that 91 percent of them were accepted to four-year colleges, 7 percent were accepted to two-year colleges or trade schools, and 2 percent will take a gap year. The class earned $23,968,326 in scholarships and financial aid.

“Morris Catholic has existed to educate young women and men to grow in character, community, and commitment, through a knowledge of the love of Christ,” according to its website.

Pope John graduated 126 seniors on June 3. It reported that 120 of them were accepted to four-year colleges, two were accepted to two-year colleges, and two were entering the military. The class earned $21,795,376.00 in scholarships and financial aid.

“Today, more than ever, there is a need for well-educated, well-rounded citizens, and we believe that Pope John XXIII prepares students to meet the academic demands of higher education and the challenges of the world beyond,” according to its website.

DePaul graduated 112 seniors on June 5. All of them were accepted by two or four-year colleges. The class earned $37,246,964 in scholarships and financial aid.

“DePaul Catholic High School strives to make our Catholic faith evident in the promotion of the dignity of every human person, as we search together as a Christian community for a more meaningful relationship with God and each other,” according to its website.

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