More than 450 alumnae, students, faculty and friends gathered Oct. 20 in Glendale for Holy Family High School College Preparatory’s 75th anniversary celebration, highlighting the all-girls’ parish secondary school’s distinguished legacy of Catholic education.In his homily at the Jubilee Mass, San Fernando Region Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson praised the school for its “long and glorious history” and spoke of the gift of a Catholic education. “To educate not just the mind, but the heart, the spirit, the soul of each and every person — that’s what Catholic education is all about,” said the bishop.“Education and formation in the faith must continue to be our goal and our mission,” he noted, adding that followers of Jesus must rise above indifference and complacency to tackle societal challenges such as abortion, poverty and homelessness. “Seventy-five years of commitment, of human and financial sacrifice: what a gift, what a treasure, what a glory for all of us,” said Bishop Wilkerson about the school established in 1937. “We are profoundly grateful. It is the foundation upon which we will build for today and tomorrow.” “It is a privilege to be a principal at such an incredible school,” said Nancy O’Sullivan, principal since the start of the 2011-12 school year. “I can’t thank enough the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They founded our school, and we wouldn’t be here today without them.” Several Sisters of Charity were in attendance, including Sister Mary Elizabeth Galt, archdiocesan chancellor, and many retired religious who had taught through the years at Holy Family. “We are women who are making history,” said O’Sullivan of the school’s 189-member student body. “These young ladies are amazing. Our current students, every day they surprise me, every day they make me smile.”Following the liturgy at the parish church, guests walked to the high school on East Lomita Avenue, which has expanded over the years from a small house to its present two-building campus, offering students a technologically-advanced college prep education that includes an iPad for every student — the first high school in the archdiocese to offer that feature.Attending from the class of 1947, Catherine Leonard and Joan Benson, friends since meeting in first grade at Holy Family Elementary, remembered the original high school “house,” where typing class was held in an upstairs bedroom.“It was a lot of fun, it really was,” said Leonard, who invited Pat Nicholson, class of 1948, to pose with the two ’47s.“The things I remember are sodality, crowning of the Blessed Mother during May processions and singing — because my voice always cracked and every time we were in church singing my friends and I would get the giggles,” said Nicholson, a retired teacher who worked in local Catholic and public elementary schools.Proms, she noted, were very important to her high school classmates. “We went to the convent [before the prom] where the sisters enjoyed seeing us in our beautiful finery,” recounted Nicholson. “However, they were also checking to see that we were dressed in a very modest manner. We were always very conscious of being from Holy Family and trying to do our best and be proper young women.”A generation later, Holy Family High School was still providing a strong foundation for its students, according to Mary Snee ’74, a graduate of St. James School in La Crescenta, where Nicholson had been her grade school volleyball coach. “I became a four-year letterman in softball and volleyball” at Holy Family, noted Snee. “I proudly wore my letterman sweater with all four stripes in my senior year.”Her sister, Agnes ’79, who was elected the high school’s student body president, said she acquired a great education, had a lot of good teachers and made a lot of friends. “I remember going over to the convent and singing with members of the student body when we had a meeting over there,” said Agnes.“What Holy Family did for me was [give me] very, very strong values and a lot of friends which I still have through the years,” said Zenaida Hernandez Parado ’80, who attended the school soon after arriving with her family from Cuba, and was warmly welcomed by the students.Dominican Sister Dorothea Snaer ’52, who taught French at Holy Family (1996-2006), said she enjoyed her students a lot. “There were many who were Spanish-speaking who chose to take French as well, and that’s exciting that they knew three languages,” said Sister Snaer.“This school really, really changed my life — it’s an excellent school,” said Marie Cruz Trafecanty, a lector at St. Bernardine of Siena in Woodland Hills who volunteered to lector at the 75th anniversary Mass.She complimented her former teacher, Sister of Charity Suzanne Stopper ’44, for making her like English. “She made it so interesting,” said Trafecanty, a public accountant who added that she was well-prepared for her coursework at Cal State University, Los Angeles. “What I remember most is the community aspect of Holy Family,” said Rosanne Longtain ’78. “What I value most about my alma mater is that it made us strong women and it made us very confident in ourselves.”“We were told how to become ‘beautiful Christian women,’” added Linda Palkovic ’78. “We were also given the means to succeed in the world, too. We weren’t limited; [being] a beautiful Christian woman didn’t relegate us to home and family, although that was a big part of it. There was also a wide world out there, and we were very well-prepared to go into that wide world.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1116/sfholyfam/{/gallery}