Alverno High School Seniors Celebrate Baccalaureate Mass

After their last week of finals and the celebration of their “Senior Farewell” the previous week, the Alverno seniors celebrated the annual Baccalaureate Mass at St. Rita’s Church in Sierra Madre on Thursday, June 7.

The mass was officiated by Father Ken Deasy of the Holy Child association and featured Azure Antoinette as the keynote speaker. Azure, a performance poet previously commissioned by Maria Shriver and Oprah Winfrey for “O Magazine,” addressed the graduates and shared her own personal journey and experiences with the audience. She spoke of trials, tribulations, and the ultimate successes that each of the graduates would face. Azure concluded her address with a poem that she had composed especially for the Alverno Class of 2012.

In addition to the address made by Azure, this year’s Baccalaureate Mass featured two special songs from the Class of 2012. The first song, “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars was sung by the entire senior class in recognition of their theme for the year and the second song was an original composition of senior Annela Flores. Annela’s song also touched upon the theme of “count on me” and recounted many of the memories the seniors had made over their past four years at Alverno.

The Baccalaureate Mass concluded with the presentation of awards and honor cords by Ann Gillick, Head of School; Julia Fanara, Assistant Head of School; and Cameron Gonzales, Dean of Students. Awards presented at Baccalaureate included the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Christian Service Award, Father Joaquin Masmitja Award for Lifetime Service, lifetime membership in the California Scholarship Federation, and lifetime membership in the National Honor Society.

In total, thirteen Alverno seniors were presented with the Father Joaquin Masmitja Award for Lifetime Service. Over their past four years at Alverno, these thirteen young women completed more than 6,102 hours of service in their local communities. Aliza Mariano, also one of the Salutatorians, was recognized with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Christian Service Award for her shining example of generosity and service. Thirteen were recognized as lifetime members of both the California Scholarship Federation and National Honor Society; six girls were recognized as lifetime members of the California Scholarship Federation; and one was recognized as a lifetime member of the National Honor Society.

The evening ended with the first Baccalaureate Ball, hosted by Azure Antoinette, in the Villa del Sol d’Oro on Alverno’s campus. Graduates and their families were treated to dinner, dessert, and dancing at the event as well as a showing of a special memory video made for the senior class. Seniors were gifted with a collection of inspirational quotes compiled by Maria Shriver and a copy of a book edited by Azure entitled, “If the World Were My Classroom.”

“Tonight, our seniors celebrated their last liturgy as Alverno students, tomorrow, they will be graduating and beginning new journeys in the world. I am confident in the young women they have become and have demonstrated this in their academic and service commitments. Tonight, more than half of them were recognized for these accomplishments and their true epitome of Alverno’s mission of empowering each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be,” said Ann Gillick, Head of School.

About Alverno High School

Alverno High School is a Catholic, private, college preparatory school for young women dedicated to preparing them to function in a society as informed, knowledgeable persons, who have the requisite skills to make and implement mature decisions about complex problems. Enlivened by the spirit of its Immaculate Heart Community sponsors, and mindful of the Franciscan roots of its founders, Alverno’s program—academic, spiritual, aesthetic, social, and physical—is shaped by the staff, trustees, and students in light of the world for which the students are being educated. Alverno’s mission is to empower each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be and since 1960, Alverno has empowered more than 4,100 women to meet that goal.

For more information about Alverno High School, please call 626-355-3463 or visit

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