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When a school has been around since 1885, it’s going to have traditions — plenty of them. These unique, time-honored annual traditions help make your Saint Thomas Academy experience unforgettable.

Baccalaureate Mass and Awards Dinner

Graduating seniors and their families celebrate their achievements at a special Mass followed by an awards dinner held the week of graduation ceremonies in June.

Cadet Colonel

Each year, a senior is selected by a panel of administration and teachers to be promoted to Cadet Colonel, the highest promotion that a Cadet can attain.

Catholic Schools Week

Campus Ministry oversees the activities of this special week, usually celebrated in late January or early February.  Saint Thomas Academy honors its history and highlights the benefits of attending a Catholic school.

Class Retreats

Each class enjoys the camaraderie of a retreat, which brings students into greater harmony with themselves, their classmates and with God.  Our Freshmen and senior students enjoy the experience of an overnight retreat.

Father/Son Activities

The first Friday of each month, all fathers and sons are invited to share in a special mass in our Saint Thomas Academy community chapel.  Each spring, cadets enjoy the beloved annual tradition of a Father/Son banquet.


Held in June, Graduation is one of Saint Thomas Academy's most impressive traditions.  Cadets receive their diplomas in their Class A uniforms and then gather in front of family and friends on the steps of the Saint Paul Cathedral to chant the fight song and toss their caps into the air.

Grandparents Day

Each fall, the Saint Thomas Academy campus is filled to the brim as our grandparents are invited back to spend a day with their grandsons.  Grandparents  celebrate mass and enjoy the Grandparents Day Review as it was instituted by our founder, Archbishop Ireland. 

Military Ball

Each May, our cadets dress in their Class A uniforms and host guests for our annual Military Ball, our version of prom.  The Ball features a formal Grand March in the Court and a night of dancing.

Mother/Son Activities

Cadets honor their mothers in a variety of ways throughout the school year.  In addition to monthly mother/son Mass in the Saint Thomas Academy chapel, boys and their mothers enjoy an annual mass and brunch held on campus in December.  A formal mother/son dance takes place in January, which is always a very special evening.


The boys march in reviews for alumni, grandparents and the Brigade Formal Inspection.

Senior Speeches

An important rite of passage at Saint Thomas Academy - each senior delivers a speech to all of his brother cadets highlighting his experience, lessons learned and memories of his time at the Academy.  Each senior works closely with a faculty member to craft their speech and hone their oratory skills. 

Winter Week

A highlight of each long Minnesota winter, Winter Week features a week full of themed days, games, contests and activities such as Trenchball.  Trenchball is the Academy's version of dodgeball.  

Seniors throwing their hats into the air following commencement
Cadet Colonel Matthew Goldade giving a thumbs up after being tossed in the swimming pool
Middle School student posing for a picture with his father
A student posing with his date under a salute at the Grand March
A student posing for a picture with his grandmother and mom on Grandparents Day
A cadet giving communion to a grandfather
Five cadets marching during a review
Student ready to throw a ball during a game of trenchball