Amid the pomp and ceremony of graduation, the simple messages often stand out.
"The first day you came to kindergarten, you made the sign of the cross," said the Rev. Joe Dillinger to graduating seniors at St. Edmond High School Sunday. "On the last day, it's fitting you make the sign of the cross again.
"In the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit ... amen."
Freshly graduated St. Edmond High School alumni McKenzie Flaherty, left, Thomas Woodruff and Hannah Lentsch are all smiles as they march out of the gym Sunday afternoon following commencement.
LEFT: St. Edmond High School class speakers Seth Reel, left, and Katelyn Bocken choose a Dr. Seuss theme for their joint speech at commencement exercises.
Thus the journey of the class of 2013 ended where it began 13 years ago.
The 63 members of the graduating class are the latest links in a chain of Catholic education stretching back to 1862, according to Monsignor Kevin McCoy, interim president of St. Edmond.
"I express my gratitude to you for your leadership," McCoy told the graduates. "Your accomplishments continue the legacy of excellence that is St. Edmond Catholic School."
While making his customary remarks thanking the faculty, staff and families of St. Edmond, McCoy noted that the timespan of the student's high school endeavor overlapped that of two school leaders. Both Principal John Howard and the Rev. Shane Deman, chaplain to the school, began their work at St. Edmond in 2009.
Though Howard is slated to continue in his role, Deman will be leaving in July to pursue doctoral studies in Rome - joining the ranks of those who have traveled the globe after their time at St. Edmond.
As members of the class of 2013 prepare to follow their own paths, class speakers Seth Reel and Katelyn Bocken shared the wisdom of Dr. Seuss as presented in his perennial favorite "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
"The sky's the limit," said Reel and Bocken in unison.
With "heads full of knowledge and shoes full of feet," Reel said, graduating seniors are well-equipped to make the decisions that will lead them to happy lives.
"Whether you plan to get out of Dodge or stay close to home, your life is wide open," Bocken said.
Should anything go wrong, there's always another path to choose, she said.
Though leaving the familiar behind and embarking on a new journey may be bittersweet, Reel urged his classmates to become "superstars of a different team."
The stuff of superstardom is evident among the class, according to guidance counselor Paula Florey, who listed the litany of academic accomplishments achieved by class members.
"In all, 86 percent of students reported being offered college scholarships," said Florey.
That totals more than $1.6 million in scholarships, she said.
A large majority of the class - 54 students - have taken at least one college class, with 13 students earning 15 or more college credits, according to Florey.
Thirty members of the class graduated with honors, defined as having a grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale.