Join us for High School Open House

HS Open House 2On Sunday, November 19, Chaminade College Preparatory welcomes families to Open House. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about our high school program, which combines a rigorous academic curriculum with robust course offerings and extra-curricular activities. Open House will be held at our West Hills campus from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During Open House you can:

  • Take a campus tour and see our facilities
  • Talk to faculty, students, and current parents
  • Learn about our one-to-one tablet technology
  • Visit academic departments and learn more about our innovative learning program
  • Explore our arts and athletics programs
  • Talk to our admissions team and administration

Don’t miss a special performance of Macbeth by William Shakespeare in the Tutor Family Center for the Performing Arts. Families are invited to drop in anytime during Open house and stay for a Q& A after the performance.

If you can’t make it to Open House, please call 818-347-8300 to schedule a tour or visit our website.

Bro. Skip Continues to Inspire Chaminade Students to Serve

After Bro. Skip’s passing in December 2016, several students proposed putting together a Chaminade service project to keep his memory alive. The inaugural event took place on a Saturday in March, and more than 100 students and faculty from both campuses served three organizations, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, MEND, and Heal the Bay.

The day started in Campus Ministry (West Hills), and the group joined in prayer before leaving on buses to their destinations. The Student Council sponsored bus sponsored headed to the Food Bank, the largest in the United States serving several millions of people each year. Students helped by sorting donated foods and checking expiration dates and quality of canned foods before sending them down a conveyor belt for packaging. By the day’s end, they sorted 29,737 pounds of food!

MEND Poverty volunteers cooked meals and worked in the organization’s mailroom. Their work doubled as a cooking lesson, and they had an opportunity to taste the food MEND clients would be served the next day. This bus was sponsored by Chaminade’s Caring Hearts and Homeless Hearts Clubs.

The Key Club and Environmental Eagles Clubs joined forces to sponsor the third bus, which took Chaminade students and faculty to participate in Heal the Bay activities. With more than 1,000 other volunteers, including Chaminade’s middle school students, the group worked to keep Southern California’s beaches clean.

Chaminade Service Day happened thanks to the efforts and commitment of Keegan Coppola ’17, Nick Sederlin ’17,  Monty Balleweg ’17, Cristian Puente-Ortiz ’17, Tina Najm ’17, Erin Fabian ’17, Tina Pan ’17, and Alec Simoni ’18. High School Principal, Bro. Tom Fahy; Director of Campus Ministry, Shawna Sedik; and Director of Student Activites, Julie La Belle helped the students to determine how the day would unfold. The students each took ownership of a specific project, promoted Service Day, led ice breakers on the bus, and served as group leads at each service site on the day of the event.

Each service group had an amazing experience and impacted their local communities through a few hours of service. Campus Ministry and Student Activities hope to continue to offer Chaminade Service Day, work more with the middle school, and double the number of students who will go out and keep Brother Skip’s legacy alive.

Funds raised during Chaminade Gala’s fund-a-need on April 8 will establish the Bro. Skip Matthews Apostolic Works Endowment. This endowment will help fund projects like Chaminade Service Day, which will ultimately enhance one of the most important parts of the educational experience at Chaminade – Apostolic Works.

 

Bro. Skip Matthews dies at 77: the face of Christ for others, especially for those in need

bro-skipSince 1994, Bro. Francis “Skip” Matthews, S.M. has been a fixture in the Chaminade family. He has graced the school with his infectious smile, boundless energy, and irreplaceable spirit.

Chaminade College Preparatory is deeply saddened to announce Bro. Skip died on December 14, 2016 in Cupertino, California. He was 77 years-old, with 57 years of religious profession. The entire school family will miss his presence on campus, be it through his work in Campus Ministry, supervisory time in the cafeteria, substituting in the classroom, or to discuss social justice, the Dodgers, or the previous night’s Chaminade basketball game. You could always count on a resounding, “Hello,” if you saw an older, white pick-up truck in the parking lot.

“Bro. Skip meant the world to Chaminade’s Chatsworth community,” says Middle School Principal, Mike Valentine, “To the students he was the official greeter,  the one who woke them up and started their day with an encouraging word and a smile. To the faculty and staff he was a true inspiration, mentor, and  confidant. I can’t think of a single adult on campus from the faculty, to the physical plant crew, to the support staff who didn’t have a special relationship with Bro. Skip.”

A native Angeleno, Bro. Skip was raised in Manhattan Beach. He attended grade school at American Martyrs, and later Junipero Serra High School in Gardena. He professed his first vows in 1959, in Santa Cruz. He studied with the Brothers of St. John of God at their Los Angeles hospital, and learned the fundamentals of nursing and caring for the elderly. In 1962, he made perpetual profession in the Society of Mary.

In his early ministry, Bro. Skip served in health care and directed the Marianist Infirmary in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ten years later, he became a paramedic at a remote facility in Zambia. He served there for 18 years, and also assisted with work at Matero Boys Secondary School, a Marianist school in Lusaka.

Chaminade President Rob Webb reflects, “Bro. Skip traveled the world, taking the charism of Fr. Chaminade with him. He lived a very full life bringing some of the most disenfranchised, disconnected people closer to God. He cherished his time at Chaminade as much as his time anywhere else. We are all blessed to have known him.”

In addition to his ministry at Chaminade, Bro. Skip volunteered at hospice and the Good Shepherd Shelter, a safe house for battered women and children. He also visited Skid Row twice a week to help the homeless and spend time with them. For more than 20 years, from December 1 to 24, Bro. Skip set up a table and offered to write cards to family members and friends of people living on Skid Row. This year, Bro. Skip could not do his usual work, but over the summer he collected clothes for to the Good Shepherd Shelter and cards for the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. The items were recently donated to both organizations by the Marianist Community.

Bro. Skip was honored in 2013 at the Annual Brothers Mass and Banquet with the Annual Brotherhood Award. Archbishop Jose Gomez and Bro. Larry Moen, C.M.F., presented him with the award, “Honoring Bro. Skip’s religious commitment to the service of the Lord as a Marianist Religious Brother and his faithful ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles through education and outreach to the poor and the homeless.”

Kevin Pillar ’07 Nominated for Clemente Award

pillar_kevin-2016-03-22

Kevin Pillar ’07 in a March 2016 game (photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Ever wonder if Apostolic Works stays with you once you graduate from Chaminade? The short answer is, “Yes!”

Alumni often reflect back on cherished Chaminade experiences when they meet President Rob Webb, and these stories more often than not include service projects and their impact. As Mr. Webb pointed out in the spring/summer issue of Chaminade Now, “Many alumni say they continue to seek out service opportunities well after they leave Chaminade because helping others continues to profoundly touch their lives.”

Kevin Pillar ’07 is one of those alumni. The Toronto Blue Jays’ center fielder was recently nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the  Major League Baseball (MLB) player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Pillar and his wife, Amanda are active with charitable organizations in Toronto. In addition, Pillar has set-up an MLB Action Team at Chaminade, which will help high school students to “plan and organize volunteer events in and around their schools.”

Read more about Pillar and his nomination on the Toronto Sun website.

An Apostolic Works Experience to Remember

By Annelie Rugg P ’20

“Mom, this is fun! When can we do this again?”

Hearing these words from my 8th grade daughter, Hanna, made me smile for many reasons. We were not at a theme park. We were not on a trip. We were volunteering three hours on a hot Sunday, August afternoon as a part of Hanna’s Chaminade College Preparatory apostolic works experience.

Our time was spent at Hopemill’s Assembly Day. Located in Encino, Hopemill’s mission is “to help those who find themselves homeless.” But it is so much more than just another well-meaning organization.

Funded entirely by private donations, Hopemill’s primary service is assembling backpacks (hence, Assembly Day) with essential items, and distributing them to the homeless, as well as to people living in missions and shelters throughout Southern California. On this particular Sunday, our volunteer contingent of about 25 people — including children as young as 6 and adults as old as 70 — carefully and efficiently assembled 400 brand new backpacks earmarked for delivery to a series of shelters near Bakersfield.

What makes Hopemill different, and why will we be back? For Hanna, it is energizing to join side-by-side with adults and other kids, building something that someone really needs. Seeing how a little bit of thought and organization can make volunteer work fun and meaningful. For Hanna and I, it is the detailed thought and care that goes into every aspect of the work that results in assembled backpacks. For starters, all the supplies are brand new: from clothing to food to personal items. We were not just jamming one of each item into the packs and zipping them shut. We were respectfully asked to “pack each bag as though it is a gift,” to convey to the recipient that they are a valued person.

So what did we do? Our cohort divided across about eight different stations, where volunteers carefully packed a pre-arranged selection of items comprising the general hygiene packet, the toothbrush packet, the shampoo packet, the food packet and, in my case, the stationery packet. This latter packet stood out for me: it consisted of a stamped envelope, a notepad or a few sheets of paper, a pen, and a safety whistle. It was included so those struggling to survive could write to family or friends and let them know how they are doing. Thoughtful. It made me see that these people are not just going through the motions. They have put themselves in the shoes of a needy person and imagined what that person could use that no one else thinks of.

I sometimes wonder whether Hanna has any sense of the impact her apostolic works have, or whether it even matters to her. Being part of Assembly Day at Hopemill re-awakened a confidence in the power of our works that we can make a positive contribution, and that there are real people out there who need our help. Hopemill is right in our neighborhood, helping people in our area, doing the simplest of things, and doing it with thought and care. Truly, an apostolic works experience to remember.

The Apostolic Works Learning Program allows Chaminade to educate students in grades 6-12 for service, justice, and peace by helping them engage in a variety of service opportunities. It is not just a Christian Service program, but one that forms Chaminade students into the school’s Catholic-Marianist tradition and challenges them to be agents of change.