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The tradition of Junior Mass

Cardinal Gibbons has many cherished traditions that have been handed down from class to class,linking the past to the present.

One of the most treasured of those traditions is Junior Mass, which is about being part of a community. That was on clear view at this year’s November 14 Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, where the school community came together to honor members of the Class of 2021 and celebrate their newly-gained status as upperclassmen.

In the last three years, this time-honored tradition has taken on even greater significance. Why? 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 congratulatory ceremony. One by one, the students stepped onto the altar when their name was called to receive a certificate from Principal Nancy A. Barkan. At that time, some students also received a ring they ordered or an item of their choosing.

Fr. Daniel Oschwald, Gibbons chaplain, was the principal celebrant for the Mass. The Gospel reading was John 21:15-19.

“This Mass reminds us of our address, our home,” Assistant Principal of Engagement Michael Rogosich ’90 said of the event.  “We come together -  students, parents, families, friends, and educators - to remind one another of what is most important and sacred in all this.”

Additionally, he said, “We celebrate and give thanks to this class as juniors,” and not wait to celebrate them as seniors at Baccalaureate Mass. 

Student speaker Lauren Hackett ’21 talked to her classmates about their faith journey at Gibbons and how being a member of Franciscan Youth International (FYI) for two years showed her how little acts of kindness could enhance someone’s day. “The community here at Gibbons is built around this faith foundation and bonds us together,” she told her classmates and added: “As John said in the Gospel tonight, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Always show others love and joy through your actions and words.” Read Lauren’s full speech​

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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