Providence Catholic Celebrates the Class of 2016 Commencement

NEW LENOX (June 16, 2016) – Providence Catholic High School celebrated the Class of 2016 commencement on June 2 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.  Each of the 234 members of the class crossed the Rialto stage to receive their PCHS diploma, marking the completion of four successful and memorable years. During the ceremony, Valedictorian Colin Brankin (Orland Park) and Salutatorian Patrick Connelly (Tinley Park) addressed their classmates with powerful words of encouragement and expressed their gratefulness to family, friends and Providence faculty and staff.

During the special awards portion of the graduation ceremony, Athletic Director, Doug Ternik ‘89 announced Thomas Kelley (Orland Park) as the recipient of the Senior Athletic-Spirit Award and Mia Massaro (Homer Glen) as recipient of the Jaime Garcia Scholastic Athlete Award.  Fr. John Merkelis, O.S.A. named Patrick Kay (Orland Park) and Catherine Spesia (Joliet) as the recipients of the Bishop Blanchette Religion award.  Furthermore, Brendan O’Hara (New Lenox) and Claire Baudek (Joliet) received the prestigious Bishop Roger Kaffer Leadership Award.

One-hundred percent of the Class of 2016 will continue their education at a college or university.  Approximately 746 scholarships valued at nearly $30 million were offered to this class.  Forty-three of these graduates were named Illinois State Scholars. These seniors volunteered in excess of 100,000 hours of community service during their high school careers.  Twenty-eight percent of student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent or made commitments to continue their respective sports at the collegiate level.  In addition, this class witnessed many athletic accomplishments, including five state championship trophies earned by the Celtic baseball teams (2014, 2015, 2016), football team (2014) and cheerleading team (2013).  Providence Catholic now has 30 state championship titles; the most among private high schools in the state of Illinois.  For more information about PCHS, please visit

photographs by Burns Photography

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Jamie O’Brien
Director of Communications

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