Ave Maria Parish school celebrates high school graduation

The Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria Parish celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass and 17th Commencement Exercises for its 32 graduating seniors on May 24, 2024, the largest class in school history.

The opening procession for the Mass included each graduate carrying a white rose which was then placed in a vase before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane was the main celebrant. Bishop Dewane praised the graduates for their academic achievement but said his prayers were for their continued spiritual growth as they leave the Ave Maria community to points beyond.

Following Mass, the festivities moved to the nearby school, with the graduation taking place in the gymnasium. In addition to family and friends, students from the middle and high school were present for the presentation of diplomas.

First-year Principal Dr. Marc Snyder, whose daughter Isabela was a graduate, remarked on the honor of leading the school which offers a classical education where students encounter Christ and pursue excellence in all things from academics through sports.

Mary Fairchild was the class Valedictorian while Matthew Scheck was Salutatorian. Father David Vidal, Ave Maria Parish Pastor, offered the opening prayer and closing Benediction. In addition, Father John Belmonte, SJ, Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Catholic Education, addressed the graduates, offering encouragement to continue to let Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary be the guiding force in their lives.

The Donahue graduates did more than 2,200 service hours and earned an impressive $3.6 million in scholarship offers. In addition, most are going on to attend a Catholic university in the fall.