The first day of a year-long sesquicentennial celebration began on Nov. 16 with an inaugural 150th anniversary mass at Loyola High School.
During the mass, which was celebrated by President Fr. Gregory Goethals and three former Loyola presidents and other clergy, a special apostolic blessing from Pope Francis was shared with the congregation. A celebration lunch followed for students, faculty, parents and alumni.
Chaired by Jack Girardi, class of ‘65, the 12-month celebration will showcase 150 years of educating young men at the Jesuit preparatory high school that was founded in 1865 as St. Vincent’s College.
In addition to academic and community service initiatives that were unveiled at the kick-off, the Loyola community was given a first look at historian Dr. Kevin Starr’s 369-page book “Loyola High School of Los Angeles: A Sesquicentennial History.”
A launch of the 150th website and 400 citywide street banners was announced, and a historical video was debuted.
“Loyola High School’s history is Los Angeles’ history,” said Fr. Goethals. “During the past 150 years, Loyola has molded many of the city’s leaders, first by the Vincentians and then, beginning in 1911, by the Jesuits. “Our graduates are an essential part of the backbone that makes this great city of ours work. As we prepare for our next 150 years, we are committed to inspiring our students to become men of faith, scholarship, service and leadership so they will continue to lead Los Angeles,” he added.
Two days after the kick-off celebration, Dr. Starr’s book was presented to the Library of Congress by Girardi during a trip to the nation’s capital, where it will reside in the historical collection on Los Angeles.
Girardi was accompanied by Loyola students and teachers, and community service director Tom Zeko, who travelled to Washington to take part in the Ignatian Teach-In.
Three local representatives of the U.S. Congress gave Loyola commendations on its 150th, the U.S. flag that flew that day over the Capital and a pictorial history of Washington.
An open house takes place at Loyola High School, 1901 Venice Blvd., on Sun., Dec. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information, go to www.loyolahs.edu.