The C-Notes Continue Tradition of Christmas Joy for the Sisters of Carondelet

By Tommy Smeltzer

On Wednesday, December 5, one hundred Chaminade middle school students donned formal attire, boarded buses in the pouring rain and delivered the joyful sounds of Christmas to an audience of retired nuns who live at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet center on the campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University. The C-Notes performed this year’s Christmas concert entitled Tidings of Comfort and Joy for scores of sisters gathered in the chapel, singing a variety of sacred and secular pieces in Latin, Swahili, and English. Many of the nuns who were unable to be moved watched the concert on closed-circuit TV in their rooms. 

The concert is an annual tradition going back four years but has roots in a Chaminade relationship that dates back much further. Years ago, middle school music and choral director Kathy Rohrs led a string ensemble that would play various events. She tells us, “We had a special Sister of Carondelet that worked at Chaminade for many years named Sr. Noreen Arnold. The Chaminade “String Affair” would go and do concerts each Christmas for Sr. Noreen and all the elderly Sisters of Carondelet. It was our way of bringing joy to others and sharing our God-given talents.” She goes on to say that, “Sadly, Sr. Noreen Arnold passed away in 2011 from cancer. The String Affair group would continue to do concerts for the sisters until they went on to college to study music and film.”

The Chaminade Sting Affair pictured left to right: Noreen Kovelman, Ronnie Mansour ’16, Breanna Kovelman ’14, Alex Mansour ’15 and Kathy Rohrs with Sr. Noreen Arnold in the center. 2011

The C-Notes concerts are a continuation of this tradition, performing in the beautiful Carondelet Center Chapel. Among the attendees at this year’s event were 105-year-old Sister Anne Gertrude Fitzgerald and her “little sister”103-year-old Sister Constance. At the end of concert Sister Regina Clare Salazar took to the mic to thank the students, “When we look at these young people from Chaminade middle school, we are honored and overcome with all that has gone into this production – your staging, your presence, your attention, everything about you is classic, and we are very, very proud of you and very grateful to Sister Noreen Patrice…that you could be with us.”

“I am so proud of Mrs. Rohrs and the 100 C-Notes members who braved the rain and cold to bring some Christmas joy to the nuns,” said middle school principal, Mike Valentine” It is inspiring to me to know that we have so many educators and students who are willing to give of themselves for others.”

Sister Sharon Margaret Ninteman, CSJ Community Life Coordinator, thanked the C-Notes for sharing their talents and bringing comfort and joy to the sisters. “They look forward to it every year and continue to talk about it the rest of the week,” says Sr. Ninteman. “The students, under Kathy’s direction, provided an excellent performance …and are a real testimony to the values you teach at Chaminade…to God’s glory!”­­

A Message from the President

Dear Chaminade family,
With so much trauma in our area, let us be of one heart and hold on to our hope. Please join me in prayer for those in our Chaminade community who have suffered a significant loss due to the fires:

Loving Father,

Today we ask Your blessing and protection for the Chaminade family, especially those directly impacted by the fire. We stand in solidarity with all victims of loss as we struggle to find ways to show others the reason for our hope.

Educating in the Marianist Family Spirit is about creating a “home away from home;” a feeling of “place” that extends the boundaries of our four walls to include our neighbors, our beloved school, and its families. With Family Spirit as our mantra, in God’s name let us pray for and comfort each other during this time of great need.

May we be hope for our families who are stretched and suffering. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Communication will continue as the overall damages are assessed. Please continue to monitor your emails, the Chaminade website, and social media for updates.

God Bless,
Rob Webb P ’18 ’20

Share your All Souls’ Day Prayer Request with the Chaminade Marianist Community

All Souls’ Day, November 2, is a day to remember family and friends who have been called by God to that eternal life we all hope to share.  Each year during this season, the Chaminade Marianist community invites you to submit the names of your deceased family and friends (please include the class year of deceased alumni.) The Marianists will place these names on the altar in their community chapel and remember them while celebrating the Eucharist throughout November.

The Marianist community is privileged to minister to you through this on-going Chaminade tradition.

Please CLICK HERE to fill out the form with the names of your deceased loved ones.

Celebrating Respect Life Month

“Today, we remember Saint Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals and the environment. He cared for the poor, the sick, and all creation…” said Mrs. Kate Beskid ’00 on Thursday, October 4, kicking off Respect Life Month at Blessing of the Animals on the Chatsworth campus.

 

Eight miles away, on the West Hills campus students, faculty, and staff celebrated Respect Life Month with a special Mass and candlelight procession. “At the deepest level of our being,”  said Bro. Adam Becerra “there is a thriving force that holds power, wisdom, love, and grace. And that thriving force, is God communicating all that God is, so that we may thrive to be who we were created to be.”

As a Catholic, Marianist school, Chaminade’s CME of Service, Justice, and Peace teaches students to promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death and to respect creation.  Every October, Chaminade Joins the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to celebrate Respect Life month as one human family and put our faith into action.

Throughout October, Chaminade will emphasize Catholic Social Teaching (CST) principles in the classroom to help develop students’ awareness of the contemporary issues in their world that directly relate to:

  • The Dignity of Human Life
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Stewardship (Protecting Creation)

The Chatsworth campus will also hold a Respect Life Mass on Monday, October 15 at 9:15 a.m. in the Fr. Allen Delong Center for Arts and Athletics.

 

Middle School Students Give Back on Service Saturday

At Hope of the Valley Thrift Shop, students organized the donations that are used to help the homeless get a new start in life.

On Saturday, September 22, Campus Ministry at Chaminade’s middle school campus hosted its second annual Service Saturday. Service is a big part of the Chaminade experience, and through the Apostolic Works program, student’s missionary spirit leads them to give direct service to those in need through various methods of outreach. Service Saturday was an opportunity for students to put their Apostolic Works Commissioning into action and become agents of change.

At the Pregnancy Counseling Clinic, volunteers worked on prepping, stuffing and boxing baby bottles for upcoming baby bottle drives.

At the West Valley Food Pantry Garden, students helped with weeding and resetting the beds for the Fall planting.

More than 200 students, parents, faculty, and staff met at the Chatsworth campus for breakfast and prayer service before heading out to their destinations.

Volunteers served ten organizations and collectively performed more than 400 service hours. “I really enjoyed working alongside students and parents as a participant of Service Saturday,” said middle school principal, Michael Valentine.  It was a great opportunity to give back to our local community and bond together with members of our Chaminade family.”

Each service group had a fantastic experience serving their local community while discovering an appreciation for their dignity and self-worth, as well as the dignity and self-worth of others. “I would say this experience opened our eyes to the love and friendship that can be formed when we all come together as one family and share our gifts with each other,” says middle school parent Melissa Mandyam. “It was just a wonderful day that we will never forget.”

Volunteers joined Tree People and assisted with cleaning up the environment, watering, removing invasive species, and planting seedlings in the Santa Monica Mountains.