New Mass location breaks tradition


Patriot File Photo

Members of the class of 2016 process into the Upper Gym for their Baccalaureate Mass. This year, the Mass is being held at Saint Margaret Church instead of at JC.

Traditions are important, and when it comes to school traditions, some people consider them a rite of passage. JC has many traditions, several of which take place during senior year. One of these traditions is the Baccalaureate Mass which has taken place at JC for many years.

This year’s senior class, however, will celebrate their Baccalaureate Mass a few miles down the road at Saint Margaret Church. Although I am personally a parishioner at St. Margaret and went there for elementary and middle school, I don’t think it is a positive change to move this important tradition to a different location. While there are many students who have ties to St. Margaret, there are also many who do not.

When I graduated from St. Margaret, there was a graduation Mass and ceremony held in the church. This was appropriate because I was graduating from the Parish’s school. It doesn’t make sense to me, however, that JC students have to celebrate their final school Mass at a school they are not graduating from.

JC has the facilities to host the Baccalaureate Mass and has successfully done so in the past. Over the years, the Mass has taken place both outside and in the Upper Gym where our school-wide Masses are held. It is more meaningful for students to not only have a connection to the location of the service, but also to celebrate where they have done so for four years.

There are also some practical concerns with moving the location of the Mass. When I graduated from middle school, there were approximately 90 students in my class. I remember seating being a challenge for all of the family and guests that attended, and many had to stand. Some families even arrived several hours earlier to ensure they would get a seat.

This year, JC’s senior class has a total of 162 students graduating. That is nearly double the amount of students I graduated with, not to mention double the amount of families attending as well. Because of this, I believe seating will be a significant issue, which would not pose a concern in the Upper Gym or outside.

In addition, the stadium-style seating at JC provides family and guests with a better view of their graduate. St. Margaret has traditional pew seating that can hinder a person’s view.

But beyond the practical issues that may pose challenges remains the fact that we are JC students, not St. Margaret students. We should be celebrating important moments and traditions with our Patriot family at JC.

Taylor Bynion is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and