Diocese of Arlington Catholic high school graduates earn more than $85.1 million in scholarships and log more than 51,000 hours of community service

The four Catholic high schools administered by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington will celebrate their graduations beginning today.

  • Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School will honor 125 graduates on May 25.
  • Bishop Ireton High School will honor 194 graduates on May 26.
  • Saint Paul VI High School will honor 260 graduates on May 31.
  • Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School will honor 296 graduates on June 1.


“What a blessed time this is for our graduates and their families as they close out an important chapter and look forward with great hope to the exciting opportunities God has planned for them,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. “We pray that they will remain rooted in faith and guided by his love and wisdom. We trust that they will hold dear to the Gospel values our schools have instilled and we wish them much happiness in their future endeavors.”

Dr. Joseph E. Vorbach III, superintendent of Catholic schools, praised the graduates for their resilience.

“These graduating seniors were barely halfway through their freshmen year of high school when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill. But they persevered. It is a testament to them, their parents, and their teachers, counselors and coaches that they were able to navigate such a challenging time with so much forbearance and grace. We are delighted to send them forward with a prayer that God's light will continue to shine through them and bless them in their future endeavors.”

Diocese of Arlington Catholic high school graduates have made significant accomplishments:

  • These students have received more than $85.1 million in college scholarships as of May 18. This amount is expected to increase as final numbers come in. As things stand, this is at a minimum $15 million more than the Class of 2022.
  • National Merit Scholar Award Winner - Dominic King, O'Connell, attending Duke University in the fall.
  • Two National Merit Award Finalists
  • 28 National Merit Commended Scholars
  • Eight College Board National Recognition Honors for African American students
  • 33 College Board National Recognition Honors for Hispanic students
  • All totaled, more than 51,000 hours of community service were logged by students from PVI, BI and O'Connell throughout their high school years.
  • 96 student athletes have committed to play sports in college.
  • Two students are applying to enter college seminary.
  • 100% graduation rate, 100% college acceptance rate.


Graduating seniors honored for their achievements in the arts include: 

  • Olivia Tilley, a graduating senior at Saint John Paul the Great, has received a partial scholarship to Julliard for her excellence in playing the harp.
  • Sophia Ramirez, a graduating senior from Bishop Ireton, was honored with the 2023 City of Alexandria All-City Palette Award recognizing excellence in visual arts.
  • Eileen Parks, a graduating senior from Bishop O'Connell, was accepted after a rigorous application process to the Coastal Carolina University Music Theatre program and received an academic scholarship as well.


12 graduating seniors attending service academies in the fall:

  • Three attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland
  • Three attending the U.S Merchant Marine Academy in New York
  • Two attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut
  • Two attending the U.S. Military Academy in New York
  • Two attending the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado

There are an additional 14 students who have received ROTC scholarships, pledging service to the military after they complete their studies at various four-year colleges.

Media interested in covering a graduation ceremony or with questions regarding our graduating seniors, please contactMary Shaffrey, director of media relations, at 703-841-2517 or Mary.Shaffrey@arlingtondiocese.org.