June 1, 2021

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School In Arlington, Va., To Hold In-person Graduation Ceremony For Class Of 2021 This Thursday, June 3; Graduates Bring Up To Six Guests

High School to Resume Full-time, In-person Instruction for All Grade Levels Beginning Fall 2021, Following Year of Hybrid (In-Person and Virtual) Instruction

ARLINGTON, Va. - Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School in Arlington, Va., is capping off an unprecedented year with an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021. Each graduate is permitted to bring six guests to the celebratory occasion. The ceremony, to be held on the school's football field (Monsignor James McMurtrie Field), will take place Thursday, June 3, at 12 p.m. Bishop O'Connell and all high schools in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington safely re-opened at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year for hybrid (in-person and virtual) learning, as all 41 brick-and-mortar schools reopened for fully in-person or hybrid instruction. This fall, the four high schools plan to resume full-time in-person instruction with ongoing COVID-19 mitigation safety protocols in place.

“I join the administration, teachers, parents and entire O'Connell community in saluting the Class of 2021 graduates for their leadership, particularly throughout the past year,” said Head of School Bill Crittenberger. “My colleagues and I are overjoyed in being able to celebrate our graduates in person and all together, and in moving forward to the coming school year we are elated to be bringing all students back into the building five days a week.”

Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony

Date and Time:        
Thursday, June 3, 12 p.m.

6600 Little Falls Rd., Arlington, VA 22213

Football Field (Monsignor James McMurtrie Field)

The ceremony will be livestreamed on the school's website at In the event of rain or excessive heat, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the school auditorium with a more limited number of guests permitted.

Media Credentials:  
Interested Media, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

Bishop O'Connell welcomed all seniors in person for the final week of instruction and is graduating 286 students this year. The class of 2021 has four members headed to service academies-one to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., one to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co., one to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and one to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Ct.

“The in-person graduations for the Class of 2021 in our diocesan high schools are a particular highlight in a year of remarkable accomplishments. It was an incredible challenge for all of our school communities to adjust to COVID-19 protocols,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent for Schools, Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “In-person graduations are a mark of the resilience of the graduates and of hope for a continued gradual return to the norms and traditions of school life going forward. We salute the Class of 2021!”

For more information on Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington, visit here.

Interested media should contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 71 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 45 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students. 

The Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.