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2024 Baccalaureate Mass

2024 Baccalaureate Mass

Bishop Gregory Parkes of the Diocese of St. Petersburg celebrated Baccalaureate Mass for the 221 graduating seniors in the Class of 2024 on Thursday (May 23) evening in the beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross on campus.

It was a special night and a wonderful Mass for the 221 soon-to-be graduates (graduation is the next night, Friday, May 24 at 8:00pm at the Straz Center downtown) and their families, as the seniors came together one final time for Mass inside the grand chapel.

(Click to view a video from Baccalaureate Mass.)

The class is pictured on the homepage with Bishop Parkes, school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J., Fr. Angel Rivera-Fals, S.J., and Fr. Len Plazewski '81 on the steps of the chapel immediately after the Mass. 

Baccalaureate Mass has long been a tradition at Jesuit. In 2017 and 2018, due to the chapel construction, the school had returned to its roots for Baccalaureate Mass – Sacred Heart Church in downtown Tampa. Sacred Heart was completed by the Jesuits in 1905 and is the oldest Catholic Church on Florida's west coast. Jesuit High School's Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated for 51 consecutive years at Sacred Heart, from 1912 through 1962.

For the next 54 years, from 1963 through 2016, St. Anthony's Chapel on Jesuit's Himes Avenue campus – where the school relocated in 1956 – hosted Baccalaureate Mass. In 2019, the Chapel of the Holy Cross hosted Baccalaureate Mass for the first time. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated outdoors on campus in Oliva Courtyard adjacent to Holy Cross Chapel.

Several hundred family members and supporters attended Thursday's Mass, while Jesuit's musicians, under the direction of Nina Wegmann and Adrian Quesada, provided a beautiful backdrop to the amazing event from high above in the chapel's choir loft.

View below photos from Baccalaureate Mass for the Class of 2024. Many more Baccalaureate Mass photos are posted on the Facebook page Jesuit High School of Tampa