The days are winding down for the graduating class at St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas. Their Baccalaureate Mass takes place next week, with graduation set for May 23. But they are not done yet.

Graduates of St. Viator Parish School

At the school’s May crowning ceremony last week, eighth graders wore their royal blue graduation gowns for the all-school Mass. Girls in the class wore a ring of flowers in their hair, before they crowned Mary with her own ring of flowers.

“The month of May is traditionally devoted to Mary,” school officials said, “and she holds a special place for Viatorians.”

In fact, a devotion to Mary comes straight from their founder, the Venerable Fr. Louis Querbes. He prayed to Mary as a child growing up in 19th Century France and he continued his devotion in his religious life. As the pastor of St. Nizier Church in the village of Vourles, he dedicated May as the Month of Mary, offering special devotions each day.

Fr. Rinn prepares to bless the tiles.

After the May crowning, eighth graders gathered out in the school’s courtyard for another tradition that cements their legacy. Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor, blessed their hand-painted ceramic tiles that had been installed earlier in the spring on columns in the courtyard.

Each one displays students’ interpretations of the theme from Catholic Schools’ Week: United in Faith and Community. These columns now showcase the Class of 2024 and stand as a testament to their Catholic education.

“It’s a bittersweet time of year, they are ready to fly,” says Principal Katie Kiss. “We are teary to see them leave us — even though we know they are ready.”