Diocese Class of 2017: Graduates sent forth prepared for college and beyond Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)

5/23/17

The Diocese of Venice Catholic High School Commencement Exercises took place in mid-May, sending forth into the world graduates who are all well prepared for their future through academic and spiritual formation.

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Class of 2017 celebrate after their May 20 graduation in Fort Myers.

An impressive 99 percent of the 343 members of the Class of 2017 from St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples, Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Sarasota and Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota are going off to institutes of higher learning across the country. The balance are either entering military service or pursuing professional athletic careers.

Combined, this group also received approximately $30 million in scholarship offers, including several earning a full scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

Family and friends watch the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Class of 2017 graduate on May 19 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.

As a testimony to their Catholic Education, this fall 24 different Catholic colleges and universities across the country will have incoming freshman from the Diocese of Venice. In addition, several students will be going on to Ivy League schools. Not to be outdone, Matthew R. DeSantis of St. John Neumann, has accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

The Bishop Verot Catholic High School Class of 2017 Baccalaureate Mass took place on May 19 at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers.

The Baccalaureate Mass for St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples took place on May 16 at St. Agnes Parish, with the graduation held at the school on May 17. The guest speaker was Edward A. Morton, former CEO of NCH Healthcare System and currently managing director of Wasmer, Schroeder & Company Investment Advisors.

Neumann Valedictorian John Koga, who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, reflected on his four years of Catholic Education, seeing in the extraordinary Class of 2017 the work of St. Mother Teresa who saw Jesus in others; accomplishing the impossible by not focusing on the potential of herself, but on the potential of others. “Let us be the change we wish to see in the world.”

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass took place May 17 at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota.

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass was May 17 at Incarnation Parish, with the graduation taking place on May 19 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center on the Sarasota waterfront. The Commencement Address was by Kelly M. Kirschner, Class of 1993 and was the youngest Mayor of Sarasota in history.

Jessica Weeks, Bishop Verot Catholic High School Class of 2017 Senior Class President shows off her diploma presented at graduation on May 20 in Fort Myers.

Mooney Valedictorian Matthew Twargoski, who graduated with 21 students from his St. Martha Catholic School Kindergarten class, focused on how the Class of 2017 is well prepared to overcome any challenges they may face. However, Twargoski cautioned his fellow graduates that, as in high school, they will need the continuing support of their family and need seek the guidance of Jesus while working with others so that no obstacle is to great.

MaKenzie Jo Callahan of the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Class of 2017 shows off her newly received diploma at graduation on May 19 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.

For the Bishop Verot Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass was May 19 at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers with the graduation taking place at the school in May 20. During the Commencement, the religious orders who helped to build the foundation for Bishop Verot were recognized. Former teacher Sister Jeanne Williams, Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, and former-Principal Father Chris Hudgin, Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, accepted induction into the Bishop Verot Hall of Fame, a honor that had previously been reserved solely for athletic accomplishments.

The St. John Neumann Catholic High School Baccalureate Mass was May 16 at St. Agnes Parish in Naples.

David Mahan, who graduated Summa Cum Laude and received several academic and service awards at graduation, gave the Bishop Verot Commencement Address. The future University of Florida student noted that the experience of being a Catholic High School graduate feels like he is leaving behind part of his family. The closeness and support of his classmates, the dedication and professionalism of the teachers and faculty, all made him feel welcome, thus ensuring his and his classmates success. “We leave Verot behind, but it is a part of who we are forever. We live our school motto – Non Excidet – Live Jesus, Forever.”

The Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School graduation took place May 19 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.

The high quality Catholic Education available to the students at St. John Neumann, Cardinal Mooney and Bishop Verot is reflected in accomplishments of the Class of 2017. That quality is also a contributing factor in the increase in numbers for incoming freshman at the three schools. Included in those number are a large percentage who will be continuing their Catholic Education by coming directly from Diocese of Venice elementary schools.

Print this entry