The rich history of Saint Patrick School came alive on Saturday, June 30 as 20 members of the Class of 1953 came together in the School’s Flanagan Hall to celebrate their 65th class reunion.
Bob Marchant, a member of the Class of 1953, has been a catalyst for these reunions over the years. He is quick to note that there is something special about his class. “We have always been close.”
Flanagan Hall is a place that attendees remembered as their gym – as the site of the dances and basketball games of their junior high school years – and as such it was a special place to gather. What made it special as well is that Flanagan Hall serves today as a place of prayer, where both Saint Patrick School students and the parishioners of Our Lady of La Vang worship following the fire that destroyed the church several years ago.
Daughters of Charity Sister Fran Ciluaga, a counselor at Saint Patrick, invited all the visiting alumni to return to pray with the students and faculty during the academic year.
“Come celebrate the Eucharist with us.” she urged. She reminisced about the call from Bishop Patrick J. McGrath in 2004 that moved the Daughters to save Saint Patrick School from closing and begin their spiritual and financial sponsorship.
The returning alumni were greeted by Saint Patrick Principal Olga Islas, who presented an overview of the Drexel Initiative, and noted with pride that 28 of the 32 members of the Saint Patrick School Class of 2018 will begin at area Catholic high schools in the fall.
Father Peter Loi, Pastor of Our Lady of La Vang, also addressed the gathering, celebrating the great progress that has been made toward the rebuilding of the church, and providing a bridge between the Italian and Irish immigrant communities of 1940s San Jose with the experience of today’s Vietnamese-American community.