Graduations held at three Diocesan Catholic high schools

St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, and Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers held their commencement exercises in mid-May.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for each of the schools, with the Mooney Mass celebrated May 15, 2024, at Incarnation Parish in Sarasota, the Neumann Mass was May 16, at St. Peter the Apostles Parish in Naples, while the Verot Mass was May 17, at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Fort Myers.

Bishop Dewane first thanked the parents and guardians for entrusting their children to one of the Diocesan Catholic high schools for four years of their education, and then congratulated the graduates for their own accomplishments.

While graduation is the end of a specific academic endeavor, Bishop Dewane told the graduates that the learning will continue throughout the rest of their lives.

“It is my prayer that this time of learning will include the school of faith,” Bishop Dewane said. “Faith is about welcoming and cherishing a bond with Jesus Christ and God. Guided by the Holy Spirit, cultivate every dimension of your life for the glory of God.”

The Neumann commencement exercises included 75 graduates receiving their diplomas. The class, which accumulated more than 10,000 service hours, also earned $12 million in scholarship offers and nearly all are going off to college. The Valedictorian was Alessio Cirino and Salutatorian was Tatum Costantini. Three of the graduates will be attending military service academies.

For Cardinal Mooney, commencement took place at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, with 159 graduates. The Valedictorian was Lauren Burd and the Salutatorian was Tyler Ruben. This group earned nearly $10 million in scholarships and completed more than 17,500 service hours.

The Bishop Verot commencement, with 182 graduates, including 35 Summa Cum Laude students (no valedictorian or salutatorian are recognized). However, Patrick Dendis, provided the introductory address, while Aliza Litvak, who offered the commencement address. The class earned more than $15 million in scholarship offers and completed more than 21,000 service hours.

The fourth Diocesan Catholic high school, Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria Parish in Ave Maria will hold their Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises on May 24.

The total reported scholarships offered to the graduates at the three schools exceeds $35 million. However, that total does not include Florida Bright Future Scholarships, which are pending due to a delay in processing awards.

The graduating Class of 2024 went through a disrupted freshman year with the Covid-19 pandemic when masks and social distancing disrupted many activities. They also dealt with the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian in 2022. Please pray for all the new graduates!