Four high schools launch students into their next phase of life

“Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” — G.K. Chesterton

This humorous quote from the famous Catholic writer is a lesson that graduating seniors seem to understand instinctively.

As they prepare to take their hard-earned diplomas into the next phase of life, these young men and women smile and laugh together with obvious joy.

In interviews with The Miscellany, seniors from all four high schools spoke about their formation and the vital role that faith has played in their journey so far. A visit to these Catholic schools shows what makes them special in the eyes of their upcoming  graduates. READ WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Cardinal Newman School in Columbia. Students celebrated their commencement on May 26 at the Township Auditorium with 67 graduates.

St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville. The private academy held its graduation ceremony on May 26 for a class of 71 seniors.

Bishop England High School in Charleston. Commencement is scheduled for June 1 at 10 a.m. at McAlistar Field House for about 175 graduates.

St. Francis Xavier High School in Sumter. The small private school will hold commencement on June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Sumter Opera House for their five seniors.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone is scheduled to attend graduations at Cardinal Newman and Bishop England, which are the two diocesan schools.

St. Joseph’s Catholic and St. Francis Xavier are private schools that operate under the umbrella of the diocese.

All of the diocesan schools, plus St. Francis Xavier, recently received national accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. St. Joseph’s Catholic was already accredited through SCISA.

This is a goal the schools worked toward for years and it serves as a great tool to draw students and their parents to the Catholic school system.

In the accreditation report, one of the top priorities listed for the diocese is hiring a superintendent.

“We have been working very hard to find the right person to lead our Catholic Schools because Catholic education is one of our key ministries,” Msgr. Richard D. Harris, vicar general, said. “Although our search has not brought that person to us yet, we continue to search, and we know that when the time is right, the ideal person will surface.”

For the immediate future, seniors say graduation is bittersweet. They are nervous and excited about the future, but are going to miss certain aspects of high school — most notably their friends.

As they take their diplomas, these young adults are trading their close-knit community for a much larger world, but they feel prepared to handle it.