St. Rose leaders praise grads for their impact

June 17, 2024 at 3:50 p.m.
From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo
From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo

By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor

From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo

The Class of 2024 holds a place of distinction in the history of St. Rose High School. That day, diplomas were awarded to 102 young women and men who make up the Belmar school’s 100th graduating class.

“To the centennial class of St. Rose, thank you for your hard work and dedication,” said Brian McKeon, student council executive board president. “Spending the last four years with all of you has taught me that we are a resilient class with bonds that will last for our entire lives.

Photo Gallery: St. Rose High School Baccalaureate

Photo Gallery: St. Rose High School Baccalaureate

“Whether it was things we learned, people we meet or experiences we had, all of us have something to take away from our time at St. Rose,” he said. “Each and every one of you has become a remarkable individual in your own endeavors.”

Graduation began May 30 when Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass in St. Rose Church, followed by an awards ceremony. The commencement ceremony was held June 4 on the campus of Monmouth University, West Long Branch.

From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo

 Though it was 2020, during the global pandemic, when the current graduates began their freshmen year school, officials touted that during the past four years the class had many accomplishments, including earning $22.7 million in college scholarships.

In her speech, co-salutatorian Arianna Simon made a connection between jigsaw puzzles, one of her favorite hobbies, and her fellow peers.

“Each one of us has a specific purpose given to us by God to complete the jigsaw puzzle of life,” she said. “There may be times when you don’t feel that the role you are fulfilling in the puzzle is the right one, but the beautiful thing about puzzles is that there is more than one part.

“Each of our lives is going to come in different shapes, sizes and patterns, and that’s what God intended,” Simon said.

“As we go forward into the next chapter of our lives, there’ll be times you will feel lost. But the most important thing to remember is that you were made by God to make the world a beautiful place.”

Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, prayed: “As our graduates continue on their life’s journey and the educational and career opportunities that await them, we pray that they have the courage to live by Gospel values, to be men and women of deep faith, hope and love.

“Be with them, Lord, as they call to you and pray to you. Listen to them as they seek you. Let them find in you the way, the truth and the life to follow,” he said.


“This bond we have created came from God and we will always have each other in the future to bounce back on.” Giovanni Pescatore, valedictorian

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From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo

The Class of 2024 holds a place of distinction in the history of St. Rose High School. That day, diplomas were awarded to 102 young women and men who make up the Belmar school’s 100th graduating class.

“To the centennial class of St. Rose, thank you for your hard work and dedication,” said Brian McKeon, student council executive board president. “Spending the last four years with all of you has taught me that we are a resilient class with bonds that will last for our entire lives.

Photo Gallery: St. Rose High School Baccalaureate

Photo Gallery: St. Rose High School Baccalaureate

“Whether it was things we learned, people we meet or experiences we had, all of us have something to take away from our time at St. Rose,” he said. “Each and every one of you has become a remarkable individual in your own endeavors.”

Graduation began May 30 when Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass in St. Rose Church, followed by an awards ceremony. The commencement ceremony was held June 4 on the campus of Monmouth University, West Long Branch.

From left, Matthew Wicks and Jack Harmon present the gifts of bread and wine to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated May 30. Courtesy photo

 Though it was 2020, during the global pandemic, when the current graduates began their freshmen year school, officials touted that during the past four years the class had many accomplishments, including earning $22.7 million in college scholarships.

In her speech, co-salutatorian Arianna Simon made a connection between jigsaw puzzles, one of her favorite hobbies, and her fellow peers.

“Each one of us has a specific purpose given to us by God to complete the jigsaw puzzle of life,” she said. “There may be times when you don’t feel that the role you are fulfilling in the puzzle is the right one, but the beautiful thing about puzzles is that there is more than one part.

“Each of our lives is going to come in different shapes, sizes and patterns, and that’s what God intended,” Simon said.

“As we go forward into the next chapter of our lives, there’ll be times you will feel lost. But the most important thing to remember is that you were made by God to make the world a beautiful place.”

Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, prayed: “As our graduates continue on their life’s journey and the educational and career opportunities that await them, we pray that they have the courage to live by Gospel values, to be men and women of deep faith, hope and love.

“Be with them, Lord, as they call to you and pray to you. Listen to them as they seek you. Let them find in you the way, the truth and the life to follow,” he said.


“This bond we have created came from God and we will always have each other in the future to bounce back on.” Giovanni Pescatore, 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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