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Tradition: Passing of the Light

True Blue Traditions at Sacred Heart Catholic School

Passing of the Light 2023

Hattiesburg, MS – Class of 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic School passed the light, figuratively and symbolically, to the junior class on April 20, 2023 during the 16th Annual Passing of the Light ceremony. This special service represents the transition of responsibility from the outgoing to upcoming senior classes and is held as a part of the last school Mass for seniors.  

This sacred tradition began with the Class of 2007 and was one of the first ceremonies held when Sacred Heart Catholic School restarted the high school. “I have always enjoyed seeing the closeness between our students,” said Monica Bellipanni, Director of Enrollment, who serves as coordinator. “It is meaningful to the juniors to receive this responsibility from their friends and peers.” It is a way to pass the love of Christ to all others in the school.

Sacred Heart Catholic School has a motto of Faith. Respect. Honor. Faith is the foundation in which the school is anchored, respect creates an environment that is positive and productive, and honor holds everyone accountable for all school endeavors. Passing of the Light is an expectation for the rising seniors to continue leading the student body in the Sacred Heart Way.  

“Passing of the Light represents who we are at Sacred Heart”, said Lela Knight, Class of 2023 and secretary for SHS Book Club. “The student body signifies unity by being inclusive, honorable and showing love towards one another”. Knight passed the light to junior, Ava Morgan, and is attending Tuskegee University in fall 2023. 

“This tradition signals the beginning of the end for the senior class”, said Graversen. “It’s also the start of our senior year which is one of the most important years as leaders for the school. We want and are eager to begin this journey.” Class of 2023 Student Body President, Tanner Davis shared the importance of this rite of passage. Seniors must take the responsibility seriously and lift up the next class of leaders at Sacred Heart.


See more images from 2023 Passing of the Light.


True Blue Traditions at Sacred Heart Catholic School

tra-di-tion noun

  1. an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (Merriam-Webster)

  2. the handing down of Sacred Heart Catholic School spirit from one generation to the next