Graduation Ceremony Instructions

Seniors, please carefully read the following information and procedures for graduation. We are very fortunate that we can have our ceremony in the church and that Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel will attend. Without us being able to have a formal practice, it is very important that you understand what you need to do that night so that this can be a very special event for you and your parents. If you have any questions or if we have forgotten anything, please send us an email as soon as possible.

Graduation Attire (includes cap and tassel) 

Tassel is worn on the right side.

NO GUM, please!!! 


  • Graduation gown and cap
  • Dresses, skirts, tops must be white, beige, or a light pastel color that does not show through the white graduation gown. Try on the outfit with the gown before you decide. NO SLACKS. Shoes must be dressy; dressy flats, wedges, and heels are acceptable. Heels must be no higher than 3 inches. You must be able to climb the steps to the sanctuary at church. Informal shoes, including cowboy boots, penny loafers, sneakers and/or combat boots are not allowed. 


  • Graduation gown and cap
  • Black slacks, white shirt, tie (any kind), belt, black dress shoes, and socks; clean-shaven and neat hair. 


Order of the Night

This is a quick overview of the ceremony, adjusted for our special situation.

  1. Entry into Church
  2. Procession of Graduates
  3. Opening Prayer
  4. Father Blanda’s Remarks
  5. Welcome by Salutatorian
  6. Valedictory Address
  7. Presentation of Special Awards
  8. Commencement Speaker–Bishop Deshotel
  9. Presentation of Diplomas
  10. Announcement of Graduation and Induction into Alumni Association
  11. Principal’s Remarks
  12. Benediction
  13. Alma Mater
  14. Exit


Entry into Church

  • The entry nearest to Julia Street (large parking lot) will open at 6:15 pm. 
  • Graduates and 2 guests enter through Julia Street entrance.
  • To check in, report to Development members at the outside table. They will collect guest tickets and check off graduates. 
  • Masks will be given to the graduate at check-in table. Guests must bring their own masks.
  • After check-in, graduates and guests proceed to assigned pew seat upon entering church and sit. (See attached map.)
  • Map of assigned seats will be on the Development check-in table and will have been sent to graduates. 
  • Masks must be worn by graduates and guests while in pew. You will not wear a mask for the procession and when you receive your diplomas. (These are your photo ops!)
  • Honor cords, NHS stoles, and Beta stoles will already be in pews for graduates. These are NOT returned to the school–seniors keep them. 
  • All graduates and guests must be seated in their assigned pew by 6:45 pm.


Procession of Graduates

  • At approximately 6:45 pm, Mr. Belanger will move to the church lobby and make sure that doors are unlocked and that center doors are hooked open. 
  • Mrs. Segura will make an announcement to begin:
    • “Good evening. Would everyone please turn off cell phones so that we can begin our ceremony.”
    • “We will begin our ceremony tonight with the procession of the Catholic High School Class of 2020 followed by our opening prayer.”
    • Soft music–“Class of 2020, please remove your mask, stand, turn, and exit through the aisle nearest to your seat, and continue to the doors at the rear of the church. Remember to keep a safe distance.”
  • Mr. Guilbeau and Mr. Belanger will be outside and will organize the alphabetizing of seniors at 6 feet apart in two rows on each side of the church. Trey Amos will be first for the first half of the class, and Madison Hulin will be first for the second half of the class. However, seniors will enter the church in single file. 
  • Mr. Guilbeau will remain outside, and Mr. Belanger will pace/space seniors as they enter through the rear door. 
  • Mr. Belanger will give a signal to Mrs. Segura who will state, “Will everyone please rise for the procession of the Class of 2020.“ That will be the signal for Mr. LeBleu, the St. Peter’s Music Minister, to begin processional music.
  • Dr. Arabie will move to the bottom of the steps of the sanctuary, and students will be directed to go near her, bow towards the tabernacle, then move to the side aisles and enter their pews from that side aisle. 
  • Seniors who are seated in the center section must be sure to enter seats from the side aisles. There will be other seniors processing down the center aisle, and we don’t want a traffic jam. 
  • Seniors remain standing at their place until all seniors enter. 
  • After closing the doors, Mr. Belanger and Mr. Guilbeau will end the procession and join clergy and administration in the sanctuary. 
  • Mrs. Segura: “Will everyone please stand for our opening prayer.” Student comes up to the ambo for the prayer.  
  • When everyone is seated, please put your mask back on. 


Later–Receiving Diplomas

  • Mrs. Segura will call on Mr. Belanger to read the names of graduates and for the Bishop, Father Blanda, and administration to get into position for the awarding of diplomas. 
  • Mr. Belanger will state, “Will the seniors seated in the side section to my right please stand.”
  • Those seniors remove their masks, stand at their pews, and as names are called, they advance to the senior’s spot in front of them. 
  • When your name is called, advance to where Mr. Mike Judice is standing near the railing up to the sanctuary steps. Be careful not to allow your robe sleeve to get caught on the railing! Be sure to hold on to the railing as you climb the steps!
  • Mrs. Segura will hand your diploma to Dr. Arabie who will hand it to the Bishop who will present you with your diploma. Dr. Arabie, the Bishop, and Father Blanda will all congratulate you (no hand shaking).
  • Pause for a photo when the Bishop hands you your diploma.
  • Return to your seat through the side aisles and sit. 


Announcement of Graduation and Induction into the Alumni Association

  • Please listen carefully to the announcement of what to do during this part (when to sit, stand, move tassel, etc.).


Alma Mater

  • When Mrs. Segura says, “I will now call on alumna Hallee Elizabeth Mire and the St. Peter’s Church music minister to lead us in singing the Catholic High School Alma Mater.”
  • Hallee comes to the mic and listen to direction from her as to when to begin singing. Hallee, “Class of 2020, please stand and join me in singing the Catholic High School Alma Mater.”
  • For the Alma Mater, seniors will remain in your pew and face the front of the church.
  • Mr. Belanger will be in the center aisle. 



  • There will be no formal recessional.
  • Closure of night by Mrs. Segura–”Seniors and parents, please convene on the rectory lawn for the traditional throwing of the caps. Please remember to keep a safe distance, and seniors do not begin throwing your caps until you receive the signal from Mr. Belanger so that everyone can participate.”
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