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Junior Mass, a Cherished Tradition
Rachelle Garbarine

There is something special about being part of a community. That was evident in detail last night when the Cardinal Gibbons school community joined together at Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral to honor members of the Junior Class and celebrate their transition to upperclassmen.

Junior Mass, which took place at 7:30 p.m. on November 8, is a cherished, time-honored tradition at Gibbons. Since last year, it has become even more significant because it takes place at the cathedral, which sits on the site of Gibbons’ former Western Blvd. campus.

The evening included a beautiful liturgy and a celebratory ceremony. As part of the ceremony Principal Jason D. Curtis presented each student with a certificate. At that time some students also received a ring they ordered or an item of their choosing. Rev. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese of Raleigh, was the principal celebrant. The Gospel reading was Luke 15:11-32 – The Parable of the Prodigal Son.

In describing the event, Assistant Principal of Engagement Michael Rogosich said, "Coming together as a community - juniors, educators, parents, grandparents, friends - to give thanks and celebrate Mass, and to mark this moment in time in their lives before they graduate - that’s the beauty of the Junior Mass.”

Student speaker Jenna Hackett ’20 talked to her classmates about their Gibbons journey and their transition this year to upperclassmen. As junior year continues she advised them, “if you feel stuck and you don't know what to do next, ask yourself a question. What do you want your legacy to be?” She went on to talk about the Gospel reading and how the story of the Prodigal Son, “reminds us that no matter how distracted we get God loves us and believes in us.”
Read Jenna’s full speech.

Lelon (Chase) Winstead ’20 said Junior Mass represents “a milestone of the growth our class has experienced … and an opportunity for me to look around at my peers, recount everything we have been through, and celebrate the person that each and every one of us has become.”

For Kendall McClellan’20, “Junior Mass isn’t about the rings, or whatever item we get blessed... it is about being together and celebrating everything we have accomplished so far and being hopeful about everything we will accomplish in the future.”

At the end of Mass, juniors surrounded by friends and smiling, proud parents, left the cathedral to continue their Gibbons journey.

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