Dennis Haas, Longtime Volunteer and Friend of Chaminade dies at 70

img_2835

In the fall of 1969, Dennis Haas, then a Marianist brother, joined the Chaminade family. For 48 years, in his own quiet and humble way, he served the school in various capacities, and made lasting connections with four decades of alumni, parents, and employees.

Chaminade College Preparatory is deeply saddened to announce Dennis died on February 17, 2017 in West Hills, California. He was 70-years-old.

According to the Fall 1969 issue of Chaminotes, Dennis came to Chaminade by way of Honolulu Trade Tech, where he majored in carpentry. By the 1970-1971 school year, Dennis was campus manager of the West Hills campus; and he served as a Marianist from 1965 to 1974.

While he did not always work at Chaminade (he was a customer hardware technical support representative for IBM after he gradated from Pierce College), Dennis was a fixture on campus. He led KAIROS retreats, served as moderator for LIFE workshops, chaperoned various student activities, and helped the Advancement Office with archives and events. Perhaps what most in the Chaminade family will remember him for are the pictures he took, and the time he spent with the drama department. The 1988 yearbook was dedicated to him, “The Man with the Camera.”

Dennis was a 1964 graduate of Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco. His physics teacher was former Chaminade President, Fr. Allen DeLong. After graduating from Riordan, Dennis entered the Marianist religious community and moved to Cupertino.

During a Mass on Friday, February 17, 1989, the school celebrated the founding of Chaminade College Preparatory. Dennis was honored as one of Chaminade’s first Founders, 28 years ago; a fitting milestone for the uniquely simple and humble man who served Chaminade for so many years.

Chaminade Celebrates Catholic Schools Week

13-14_CSW_Logo_Circle_RGBChaminade kicks off Marianist Heritage/Catholic Schools Week on Sunday, January 29, with a schoolwide Family Mass and dinner on the Chatsworth campus. Catholic Schools Week is a national celebration of Catholic education with the theme: “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Throughout the week of January 29 through February 3, students, faculty, and staff will honor our Catholic Marianist heritage and celebrate our 200 year anniversary of the foundation of the Society of Mary. Each campus will celebrate with faith-filled activities that highlight the five characteristics of a Marianist education: Adaptation and Change; Service, Justice, and Peace; Formation in Faith; Integral, Quality Education; and Family Spirit.

Click here for a schedule of events on the Chatsworth campus.
Click here for a schedule of events on the West Hills campus

Chaminade Honors Four New Founders

Chaminade College Preparatory’s West Hills campus was a little more crowded than usual this morning. Instead of the usual 1,200 high school students, there were 2,021 middle and high school students, gathered together to celebrate the school’s annual Founders Day Mass.

Main celebrant, Fr. Martin Solma, S.M., led the Mass and was joined by concelebrants, Fr. John-Paul Gonzalez ’97 of Christ the King (Hollywood), Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M. of Central Catholic High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. ’58. Together, the Chaminade family remembered Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and recognized four individuals for the contributions they have made to the school.

This year, Chaminade honored Nancy (Valtin) Leone ’86, Cynthia Snyder, David Poms, and Sandra Poms as founders. Nancy and Cynthia are both 25-year employees of the school, while David and Sandra are longtime benefactors and volunteers. Chaminade President, Rob Webb presented each founder with a medal at the end of Mass.

Founders Day also included a renewal of vows for the Marianist brothers and priests. Between them, Bro. Jack Dempsey, S.M.; Bro. David Betz, S.M.; Fr. Martin Solma, S.M.; Fr. Jim Mueller, S.M.; and Fr. Ted Ley, S.M. have 297 years of religious profession!

Family Mass and Dinner to be Held January 29

fr-chaminadeChaminade College Preparatory will begin Catholic Schools Week with the celebration of Mass on Sunday, January 29 in honor of the school’s Marianist heritage. Immediately following Mass a dinner will be held in the Student Center.

Family Mass is for both the West Hills and Chatsworth campuses, and will be celebrated as one school. To RSVP, please click here.

Family Mass
Sunday, January 29
5:00 p.m.
Fr. Allen DeLong Center
10210 Oakdale Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311

All students, parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend.

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.”