CBA grads urged to keep God present in their lives

June 17, 2024 at 4:04 p.m.
From left, Christian Brothers Academy graduates Keshav Ashok, Giancarlo Apolito and Thomas Angelo applaud for a speaker during Commencement exercises May 23. John Batkowski photo
From left, Christian Brothers Academy graduates Keshav Ashok, Giancarlo Apolito and Thomas Angelo applaud for a speaker during Commencement exercises May 23. John Batkowski photo (JOHN BATKOWSKI)

By Rose O’Connor, Digital and Social Media Manager

Christian Brothers Academy Principal Neil Begley challenged the Class of 2024 with a critical question.

“Some may say the critical question is ‘Where do you go from here?’ Let me say that the critical question is ‘How do I go from here?’” Begley told the 195 graduates of the all-male school in Lincroft.

PHOTO GALLERY: Christian Brothers Academy Baccalaureate

PHOTO GALLERY: Christian Brothers Academy Graduation

He also emphasized the importance of faith and community.

“The truly wise man, the prudent man, is one who raises the holy presence of God in his life. He is very aware that the journey is not a solitary one and generously shares his blessings with others,” he said during Commencement exercises May 23 at neighboring Brookdale Community College.

Two days earlier, the students gathered in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown, where Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass.

The students already have a foundation in serving others: graduates amassed more than 20,000 hours of community service, averaging more than 100 hours per student, double the 50 hours required for graduation.

At graduation, CBA President Ross Fales told them, “Our celebration today is one of thanksgiving for the many blessings God has bestowed upon you and also for the hard work you have put in to make the most of the those blessing.”

At the Baccalaureate Mass May 21, CBA graduates Christian DeOliveira and Holden Willemsen present roses of gratitude to their parents. Mike Ehrmann photo

 “There is a uniqueness to each and every class that comes through CBA, but yours may be one of the most unique classes,” Fales said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Your first year at the Academy was like no other … but you persevered, and we are here tonight celebrating your resilience. Life is filled with obstacles – you cannot control that – but you can control how you handle it.”

Not including grants, financial aid or athletic scholarships, the graduates collectively earned more than $25.7 million in merit-based college scholarships. Sixty-eight students graduated with distinction, 40 seniors were members of the National Honor Society, 48 were scholar athletes and 16 graduates were Brother Michael Dwyer Scholars.

Graduate Christopher Heite, a parishioner of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, will attend Seton Hall University, South Orange.

“The best part of a Catholic high school is for sure the friendships, communities and faith-based education, which helps foster the relationships you build in your four years,” he said. “Embrace the lessons you learn and the teachers who are teaching them.”

His father, Steven, also spoke highly of his son’s experience at CBA: “CBA taught Chris discipline, morals and a strong work ethic, which prepared him for his college journey. He learned that faith, family and giving back to his community are keys to a fulfilling and happy life.”

                

“At the end of the day, what truly matters is not where we go, but what we take with us. Everything we have learned at CBA over these last four years – academic experiences, work ethic, moral values and service to others – is now ours to keep, and more importantly, ours to put into action as we shape our own paths.” Brady Prunty, valedictorian

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


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Christian Brothers Academy Principal Neil Begley challenged the Class of 2024 with a critical question.

“Some may say the critical question is ‘Where do you go from here?’ Let me say that the critical question is ‘How do I go from here?’” Begley told the 195 graduates of the all-male school in Lincroft.

PHOTO GALLERY: Christian Brothers Academy Baccalaureate

PHOTO GALLERY: Christian Brothers Academy Graduation

He also emphasized the importance of faith and community.

“The truly wise man, the prudent man, is one who raises the holy presence of God in his life. He is very aware that the journey is not a solitary one and generously shares his blessings with others,” he said during Commencement exercises May 23 at neighboring Brookdale Community College.

Two days earlier, the students gathered in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown, where Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass.

The students already have a foundation in serving others: graduates amassed more than 20,000 hours of community service, averaging more than 100 hours per student, double the 50 hours required for graduation.

At graduation, CBA President Ross Fales told them, “Our celebration today is one of thanksgiving for the many blessings God has bestowed upon you and also for the hard work you have put in to make the most of the those blessing.”

At the Baccalaureate Mass May 21, CBA graduates Christian DeOliveira and Holden Willemsen present roses of gratitude to their parents. Mike Ehrmann photo

 “There is a uniqueness to each and every class that comes through CBA, but yours may be one of the most unique classes,” Fales said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Your first year at the Academy was like no other … but you persevered, and we are here tonight celebrating your resilience. Life is filled with obstacles – you cannot control that – but you can control how you handle it.”

Not including grants, financial aid or athletic scholarships, the graduates collectively earned more than $25.7 million in merit-based college scholarships. Sixty-eight students graduated with distinction, 40 seniors were members of the National Honor Society, 48 were scholar athletes and 16 graduates were Brother Michael Dwyer Scholars.

Graduate Christopher Heite, a parishioner of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, will attend Seton Hall University, South Orange.

“The best part of a Catholic high school is for sure the friendships, communities and faith-based education, which helps foster the relationships you build in your four years,” he said. “Embrace the lessons you learn and the teachers who are teaching them.”

His father, Steven, also spoke highly of his son’s experience at CBA: “CBA taught Chris discipline, morals and a strong work ethic, which prepared him for his college journey. He learned that faith, family and giving back to his community are keys to a fulfilling and happy life.”

                

“At the end of the day, what truly matters is not where we go, but what we take with us. Everything we have learned at CBA over these last four years – academic experiences, work ethic, moral values and service to others – is now ours to keep, and more importantly, ours to put into action as we shape our own paths.” Brady Prunty, valedictorian

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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