On Nov. 16, Loyola High School kicked off their 150 anniversary celebration with an inaugural 150th Anniversary Mass. Father Gregory M. Goethals, current school president and three former Loyola presidents, as well as other clergy who are associated with the school, concelebrated the Mass.

This Mass included the unveiling of a special apostolic blessing from Pope Francis, in which he encouraged Loyola to “offer this jubilee year in thanksgiving for the graces which it has received, and to praise God for these gifts ‘not only with words, but above all by lives transfigured by God’s presence.’”

“Loyola High School’s history is Los Angeles’ history,” Father Goethals said. “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.”

Loyola High School was founded in 1865 under the name St. Vincent’s College. It was run by the Vincentian order until 1911, when the Jesuits took over. It is the longest running educational institution in Southern California.

The Mass is just the first of many events planned for the yearlong celebration for their historic year, which will also include home football games.

Dr. Kevin Starr’s definitive book on Loyola’s 150-year history and contribution to Los Angeles, “Loyola High School of Los Angeles: A Sesquicentennial History 1865—2015,” was entered into the national registry of printed materials of the Library of Congress, and will reside in the historical collection on Los Angeles.

Loyola High School also received three 150th anniversary commendations from congressional representatives.