For the first time in seven years, the annual Baccalaureate Mass celebrating graduates was held in St. John’s Chapel Thursday, May 5, on the Newman University campus.
This traditional religious ceremony, which was previously held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita, honors all Newman graduates with a Catholic Mass that features special readings and music performed by the Newman Chorale, directed by Deanne Zogleman. The ceremony also featured reflections from two students of the graduating class: Kayla Garvert and Marcus Anthony Gonzales.
Mass was celebrated by the Most Rev. Bishop Carl A. Kemme of the Wichita Catholic Diocese along with six visiting priests. Faculty members dressed in their academic regalia while all student guests of honor wore their graduation gowns in anticipation of the following day’s commencement ceremony. Also in attendance were seminarians — both from Newman University and Little Rock, Arkansas.
“Graduates, the entire Newman community sends you forth with prayers and best wishes,” Bishop Kemme said in his homily. “Praying that as you will transform society, making the world a better place to live by your faith, virtue and active engagement, your education, which has been a tremendous gift to you, can be used to elevate our society.”
Bishop Kemme explained that in a world that can be tumultuous at times, faith in the Eucharist can serve as an anchor.
“Through the Eucharist, you will make sense of the riddles and complexities that are an inevitable part of each of our lives here,” he continued. “You will find meaning and purpose.”
He concluded, “May God keep you always and forever in the palm of his hand.”
View photos from Baccalaureate in our Flickr gallery below, or watch videos of Bishop Kemme’s homily or the full Mass.