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St. Sebastian's Traditions

Theme of the Year

Each year since 1996, Headmaster Burke has chosen a “word of the year” as a theme, a word to study and celebrate. Past themes have included honor, integrity, grateful, trust, courage, community and joy.

All School Read

Each summer, the entire school community reads the same book, typically an inspiring true story about adversity. St. Sebastian’s has been fortunate to hear directly from many of the authors during the Summer Reading Assembly held at the beginning of the school year.

Chapel Speaking Program

Annually, each student in grades 7-11 writes and delivers a speech to his classmates in our weekly Chapel service. The culmination of the Chapel Speaking Program is the Senior Chapel Speech. Each week begins with an all-school gathering in our Corporate Chapel. In this setting, seniors deliver their speeches to the entire school community – a group of over 400 people.

Corporate Chapel

Each Monday morning, students and faculty come together to pray, sing, listen to the Scriptures, hear members of the Senior Class deliver their Chapel Speeches, and receive from the Headmaster words of encouragement and inspiration. Students and faculty alike make announcements regarding all kinds of events on campus, from athletic contests and performance times to charity drives and special programs.

Senior Service

Beginning in mid-April, each senior is required to commit a significant number of hours to service in the community. The work done at the placement site must involve consistent one-on-one contact. Through weekly discussion groups, seniors are required to reflect upon the meaning of their experience, and to articulate those reflections in an oral presentation. At the conclusion of their service period, the entire senior class gathers in the Chapel to share their stories with one another and with the faculty. This morning of oral presentation often ranks among each senior’s finest hours.

Henry's Corner

The cheering section of St. Sebastian’s fans at sporting events is known as “Henry’s Corner.” Nicknamed after the well-known alum and faculty member Henry T. Lane, “Henry’s Corner” is often the largest and loudest group of fans in the league.


Each fall, the entire school community – current students and families, faculty, alumni and friends – comes to campus to enjoy a fun-filled day of football and soccer games, food and activities.

Grandparents & Special Friends Day

Grandparents and special friends are invited to campus for a day at the end of April. This favorite annual event includes a luncheon, the opportunity to attend classes, Mass, and a dessert reception.


St. Sebastian’s Commencement, held in early June, is always a memorable day for seniors and their families, including many special traditions from special ties to the Headmaster’s Walk.

Christmas Program

Students, faculty and families gather in St. Bartholomew to celebrate the holiday season with a festive and spiritual Christmas program, including scripture readings and performances by the St. Sebastian’s Jazz and Rock Bands and our a capella group, The Arrowheads.

Red & Black Day

Underclassmen participate in an annual field day to celebrate the end of the school year. The students are divided between two teams, representing the school’s colors – red and black.