From age to age: Memories and support

Alumni welcome new graduates at Don Bosco Tech.

The past is very much present at Catholic high schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

 A fixture at Conaty-Loretto

On May 30, Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto High School held its 90th commencement exercise. Jan Chambers has been present for 40 of them.

Throughout that time, the school has changed names, principals (she has worked with six administrators), uniform styles and more. Chambers herself has served as department chair, athletic director, coach, teacher and yearbook moderator.

What has remained constant, however, is Chambers’ love for the students and passion to be there as teacher, guide, mentor and — after they graduate — Facebook friend. Chambers keeps in contact with 300-500 alumnae through various social media and phone.

Recently she hosted a ceramics class for some of the graduates from the 1980s. Chambers guided their hands along the pottery wheel, and offered suggestions for colors, much like she does daily with the current students at Bishop Conaty.

What has kept 40 years from becoming monotonous? “The students,” Chambers simply states. “I enjoy the school community, and the variety of individuals I have met and still meet. It really just boils down to the kids.”

Judging from the collection of graduates around her May 30, and the array of alumnae who frequently return to see her, Chambers has gotten her point across.

 

A ‘golden grad’ at Louisville

Louisville High School’s graduation ceremony, held on May 24, was especially poignant because the commencement address was given by a member of the first graduating class, Kathleen Villar Jacinto ’64.

Speaking to the 116 graduating seniors, their parents, families and friends, Kathy reflected on her experiences at Louisville and her own graduation that took place 50 years ago in front of a similar audience and, especially, the founding Sisters of St. Louis. The following are a few excerpts from her commencement address:

—“We just celebrated our 50-year reunion [and] we're even more a sisterhood now — each of us with life stories to share, each of us the same girl inside. From 1960 to 1964, that's when Mulholland Drive was still a dirt road, a girl rode her horse to school, and we wore French berets and white gloves on special occasions.”

—“It all began with the Sisters of St. Louis, some of the younger ones not much older than we were. They werewomen of faith and strength who had a mission to establish a place where young women would find their own strength through education, leading them to bring about a ‘world healed, unified and transformed.’ We needed it just as much then, as you do now.”

—“What has made Louisville special is that those Irish Sisters had a vision for the school that was forward-thinking, that encouraged growth and change with the times, while maintaining the school as a place of beauty, holiness and inspiration.”

—“So, about this ‘world healed, unified and transformed’: It doesn’t have to be grandiose. You’ve already started working on it, if you’ve been here. But just know that whatever next year brings, and the next, and the next, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to heal the world, in little ways — in college, in the work world, as a parent, as a neighbor, or wherever you are.”

 

A tradition at Don Bosco

In addition to family and friends, the 2014 graduates of Don Bosco Tech in Rosemead were welcomed by 70 Bosco alumni, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the traditional reception line, waiting to shake the hands of the 78 newest alumni.

This informal welcoming started some time back, where the alums from all years form a hand-shaking line as the graduates are called up to receive their diplomas. As one alumnus of the 58-year-old Salesian school stated proudly, “It is a cool message of continuity and brotherhood.”


Voices

Who am I to judge?

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Perhaps the single most often-quoted line from Pope Francis is his response to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly dicey issue. His infamous/famous reply: “Who am I to judge?”

 

 

Opportunities with Sisters of St. Joseph

Events

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May 3, 2015

  • Sunday, May 3

    Special Needs Mass, 10 a.m., Father Maguire Council Hall, 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina.Mass for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information, contact Elizabeth, (909) 599-9833, ebinerfamily@gmail.com.

    Third Order Lay Carmelite Community Q & A Meeting, 1-4 p.m., St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church located at 12930 Hamlin St. North Hollywood. The Order is located throughout the Los Angeles area and open to new membership.  If interested in the ancient tradition of contemplative prayer, community and service, come and have your questions answered.  For more information, contact Regional Director Herman Briones, (818) 521-6564.

    National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, 1-3 p.m., Mount Saint Mary’s University, Chalon Campus, Hannon Theater, 12001 Chalon Rd., Los Angeles. Presenters will include Dr. Linda J. Sax of UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute and a Q&A panel of student representatives from each of the ten participating schools.  The event will conclude with a school fair where staff members, student panelists and alumnae will be available to answer school-specific questions.  Free.

    St. Elisabeth Parish May Festival, 1-10 p.m.,  St. Elisabeth, 6628 Cedros Ave., Van Nuys. (818) 779-1756 ext. 200.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965. Audiogirlministries.com.

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