Jesuit High School celebrated Baccalaureate Mass for the 198 graduating seniors in the Class of 2022 on Thursday (May 26) evening in the beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross on campus.
It was a special night and a wonderful Mass celebrated by school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. The 198 soon-to-be graduates – graduation is Friday (May 27) at 8:00pm at the Straz Center downtown – came together one final time for Mass inside the grand chapel. The Class of 2022 is the first to experience all four years with Holy Cross Chapel, the school's spiritual centerpiece, as it was completed in the fall of 2018 during the start of their freshman year.
In his homily, Father Hermes told the class to continue to strive to be 'Men for Others' living the school motto AMDG – For the Greater Glory of God. The class is pictured on the homepage with Father Hermes 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 chamber orchestra provided a beautiful backdrop to the amazing event from high above in the chapel's choir loft.
Graduation is Friday (May 27) at the Straz Center at 8:00pm.
View below a photo slideshow from Baccalaureate Mass for the Class of 2022.