In commemoration of the 18th anniversary of his death, on October 25, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools welcomed friends, supporters and community members to join in a Celebration Luncheon to honor Father Mateo Sheedy’s legacy.
Over 150 guests enjoyed student-led school tours, observed Family Legacy projects, were entertained by student Folklorico Dancers and shared a delicious meal. Following the meal, Letty Gomez of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church shared some of her personal experiences with Father Mateo, and two Nativity eighth grade students, Celeste Cortez and Gabriel Torres shared the impact that Nativity School has had on them and their families. To conclude the afternoon, school president, Deacon Rubén Solorio, presented Bellarmine College Preparatory High School with the first Father Mateo Sheedy Visionary Award in gratitude for the tremendous support that they provide to the faculty, staff, and students of the school.
Father Mateo was the visionary behind the creation of Nativity School on the previous campus of Sacred Heart School. As pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, he realized that few if any students in his parish were qualified to attend the local Catholic High Schools let alone Santa Clara University. For this reason, he brought in the Jesuit model of Nativity Schools, and canvased the neighborhood to find students. While he sadly did not live to see the school open, his spirit is very much alive today in the hallways of the school.