Congratulations and Godspeed, Class of 2021!

For our Catholic high school students, this past year was one marked by unprecedented adversity and unique challenges. When the class of 2021 began their freshmen year of high school, they could have never guessed that their senior year would be undertaken in the midst of a global pandemic, trading classrooms for Zoom rooms and face-to-face time for Facetime.

Even so, for the students of Bishop Machebeuf, Holy Family, Regis Jesuit, Arrupe Jesuit, Mullen and St. Mary’s Academy, they’ve proven that with resilience and the foundation of their Catholic education, no challenge is too great. If their conquering of this past year is any indication, then the class of 2021 is destined to do great things, all for the greater glory of God.

Congratulations to the graduates of the class of 2021! May the Lord bless each of you richly in all of your future endeavors.

Bishop Machebeuf High School

Graduation date: Friday, May 21
Number of graduates: 61
Number of graduates attending college: 58
Valedictorian: Maria Miller
Salutatorian: Paul Sri
“The class of 2021 has shared their enthusiasm, time, and talents with the entire Machebeuf community in many ways, and we will miss them as they become Machebeuf Alumni.” – Dr. Anthony Bonta, President

Holy Family High School

Graduation Date: Thursday, May 20
Number of graduates: 159
Number of graduates attending college: 157; two graduates joining U.S. Military
Valedictorian: Caitlin Johnnides
Salutatorian: Gavin Smith
“You are well prepared for the next phase of your life – in your studies, in the virtues, and in the sacraments. You have all these gifts and you have the courage to put them to their best use to serve your family, your community, your country, and the Church. Your courage will serve you well in the next phase of your life when your peers and your teachers will often not share the world view of our community. When the Truth is on your side do not be afraid to voice it, do not wither in the face of adversity, but rather proclaim the world as it actually is and do not fear the consequences for as St. Augustine said ‘The Truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose and it will defend itself.’ Holy Family could not have surmounted the challenges of the last year without you. You have made your mark on this school and we will always be grateful to the Class of 2021.” Matt Hauptly, Principal

Regis Jesuit High School

Boys’ Division
Number of Graduates: 208
Graduation Date: Sunday, May 18
Valedictorian: Ryan Occhionero 
Salutatorian: Robert Whitehead 

Girls’ Division
Number of Graduates: 175
Graduation Date: Sunday, May 18
Valedictorian: Victoria O’Hare 
Salutatorians: Amelia Marcum 

Total number of graduates attending college – 369

“The tassels that are currently on the right side of your cap indicate how close-knit the collective hope we share has been. And when we move it to the left, we are letting that hope loose- allowing it to touch the rest of the world. So set it free. Especially as leaders of change, think about who, sitting beside you right now or in your future needs to be seen, loved and given the opportunity to be cherished?”  – Nzana Thillot, Senior


Mullen High School

Graduation date: Saturday, May 22
Number of graduates: 199
Number of graduates attending college: 196
Valedictorian: Anna Seaman
Salutatorian: Michael Dudzic
“In everything you do I urge you to be bold, be open and be authentic.” – Anna Seaman, Valedictorian

Arrupe Jesuit High School

Graduation Date: Friday, May 21
Number of graduates: 98
Number of graduates attending college: 98
Valedictorian: Jimena Padilla Ortiz
Arrupe Jesuit’s class of 2021 has distinguished itself as excellent students, dedicated leaders, young professionals through our Corporate Work Study Program, and as loving young people filled with great faith and hope. We celebrate all the ways their God-given gifts have enriched our school community and send them off as generous men and women for others. – Father John Nugent, SJ, Principal

St. Mary’s Academy

Graduation date: Saturday, May 22
Number of graduates: 64
Number of graduates attending college: 64
 “I want to let you know what a privilege it has been to say that I have studied and competed alongside some of the women who have walked this campus. SMA graduates are everywhere and have long worked to make our communities better.” – Commencement speaker Ramona Sandoval, ’13 Alumnus

COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

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We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at: NoTaxpayerAbortion.com, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here: www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com

Contact your Congressional Representatives here: https://cocatholicconference.org/news/

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver