Seniors that attend catholic high schools get closer and closer to graduation with every school mass they attend. But, there is one mass in particular that brings a class together in a very special way.
The senior baccalaureate mass takes place annually for Columbus seniors. With alumni faculty, alumni parents, and soon-to-be alumni in attendance, the mass is filled with tradition. The crowd was immersed with members of graduating classes ranging from the late 60’s to the early 90’s. That itself is just a testament to the affect Columbus and it’s Marist tradition leaves on its followers. “I think [my dad] sent me to Columbus because it gives you a sense of brotherhood. However old you are you are going to have the same friends from Columbus,” said Columbus senior Gabriel Saavedra.
Not only did alumni parents attend the mass, but they also took part in it. At one point, the focus of the mass was shifted to the parents, who after graduating sent their kids to the school they transitioned from boys to men in. The seniors were called up with their fathers, (more than 30 to be more specific) resembling how the Explorer legacy continues to live on for years to come. “[Gabriel] has seen who my friends are, and the majority of my friends are Columbus graduates. That is a pretty rare experience,” said Class of 1968 graduate Diego Saavedra, father of Gabriel.
While alumni fathers got to watch their sons graduate and take part in the mass, other alumni are anxiously waiting for their sons to have the moment that they once felt a decade or two earlier. “It’s great to see them grow and become great Marist young men and I see that happening with my son,” said Columbus teacher and graduate Wenceslao Ortega. With his son in Columbus now as a sophomore and his other son coming in next fall, Ortega can’t wait for them to get the full Columbus experience, and cherish it together as a family.
With all this being said, the priest, Columbus President Kevin Handibode, and Dean John Lynsky all helped send the seniors off to live out the rest of their lives as Marist individuals. Besides telling them it isn’t a bad idea to come back and visit Columbus, they all shared stories in their respective sermons and speeches, adding in how proud they are of how much the seniors have grown since their freshman year. Time really does fly by, and in the blink of an eye Columbus may be seeing this year’s graduates at their future son’s masses in the years to come.
With contribution from Chris Forero and Ricardo Gomez.