Concord, Calif. (June 8, 2016)—Hundreds of members of the Carondelet High School community, including alumnae, students, past principals, board members, supporters, faculty, and parents, as well as the school's founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, gathered on May 5 and 6 for special events to celebrate Carondelet's legacy and look towards its future as the school's 50th anniversary year comes to a close.
The two-day celebration began on Thursday, May 5, with a mass and dinner honoring the Sisters of St. Joseph, whose vision of educating young women for lives of leadership and service continues to infuse Carondelet's curriculum and spirit. During mass, President Bonnie Cotter spoke about the legacy the Sisters created at Carondelet. As she explained, "Through your work, Carondelet is thriving as a shining example of excellence in Catholic school education and it continues to build new generations of women who live out the mission and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph – a sisterhood that is more than 9000 strong."
On Friday, events included a prayer service for the student body, faculty, and staff; a lunch for graduating class of 2016 with the Sisters and special guests; and a festive evening reception for all alumnae, parents, faculty, and the greater community.
Sr. Kathleen Kelly, CSJ, one of the three Sisters of St. Joseph who opened the doors of the school in September 1965 with three laywomen, traveled up from Southern California for the celebrations. She assisted in the final blessing at the student prayer service and spoke to the class of 2016 at the luncheon on Friday. During the evening reception, she shared memories of the school's early days and reflected on the exciting changes that move Carondelet forward.
"It was an exciting and challenging task to start a school and set the traditions and spirit that would be Carondelet's foundation, and we had to do it with a hundred 13-year-old freshmen," Sr. Kathleen laughingly recounted. "But the students really stepped up to help establish those traditions. They were impressive, as are our students today."
"As Sisters of St. Joseph, we emphasized that your education is not just for you; it's about what you can give back to the world," she continued. "I am happy to say that is something I have seen lived out by Carondelet's alumnae through the years, and that is still very much alive in our current students. I could not be prouder."