2018-2019 School Year – First Semester Review

Fourth Quarter Review

The Office of Mission and Ministry wants to thank everyone in the Cathedral Catholic family for an amazing fourth quarter! With the support of parents, employees, and students, we are spreading God’s love and building a “Culture of Encounter” on campus and in our community. Here are a few highlights:

March 14 thru 16 – Kairos 9

Seniors pose for a picture during our ninth Kairos retreat, directed by Ms. Purpera.

March 19 – St. Joseph’s Day Liturgy

Bishop John Dolan (USDHS ‘81), returned to CCHS as we recognized and celebrated our Patron Saint, St. Joseph, with a special liturgy.

St. Joseph, Our Patron… Pray for us!


March 20/21 – Lenten Penance Services

Visiting priests from across the Diocese of San Diego gathered at CCHS for two days during Lent for our Lenten Penance Services. Each student had the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during their Religion classes.


March 26 – Grandparent’s Day

During our second Grandparents’ Day Liturgy, students welcomed their grandparents on campus for a special mass together, followed by lunch.


March 28 – Stations of the Cross

Mrs. Schrimpf’s Junior Campus Ministry class planned and acted out a beautiful reflection as they walked the community through the Stations of the Cross, a Lenten tradition at CCHS.


March 31 thru April 7 – Nicaragua Immersion: Alternative Spring Break

For the fifth year in a row, students traveled to Chinandega, Nicaragua, to work alongside those who are experience extreme poverty. Here, Senior Sophie Otto is contributing to a water project by digging a trench for the water line for the village of El Pedregal.


April 2 thru 7 – Nazareth Farm: Alternative Spring Break

Students travelled to the Appalachia area in West Virginia for a week of prayer and service with Nazareth Farm.


April 18 thru 20 – Kairos 10

Our final Kairos of the 2018-2019 school year poses for a picture. Kairos 10 was directed by Ms. Lopez. Fourteen Juniors also attended this retreat in order to prepare to lead the first few Kairos retreats for their Senior year.


April 28 – Tijuana Day Trip, Casa de Migrantes

Mr. Hurt led students through a day of immersion and reflection in Tijuana at Casa de Migrantes. There, students had a tour of the facility and were able to learn about the experiences of migrants through conversation with the residents.


May 1 – May Crowning

Mrs. Lonergan, along with the Rosary Club and other faculty members, celebrated Mary’s month by hosting a May Crowning and Rosary in our St. Therese chapel. Mary was featured in the chapel surrounded by flowers throughout the month of May.


May 4 – May the “Fourth” be with you!

On May 4th, students who attended Kairos were invited to wear their Kairos shirts and gather for a picture in front of the chapel. The motto of Kairos retreatants is “Live the Fourth,” or on May 4th, “May the Fourth be with you!”


May 5 – St. Vincent de Paul Award Ceremony

Cathedral Catholic High School was honored at the St. Vincent de Paul Children’s Charity Gala with the Bishop Maher Award. This award was given for Cathedral Catholic’s sustained commitment to serving as volunteers with St. Vincent de Paul. Each year, every Freshman at Cathedral Catholic High School, along with teachers and parents, serve in the kitchen at Fr. Joe’s Villages. Mr. Doyle, Fr. Mike Ortiz, Mr. Hurt, Ms. Purpera, Mr. Trunzo, Mr. Laaperi, and Fr. Martin celebrated receiving this honor.


May 10 – XLT

Mr. Gramme’s Campus Ministry class planned our final XLT of the year with a candlelit prayer service complete with student witness, praise and worship, adoration, and opportunities for Reconciliation.


May 17 – Diocese of San Diego Catholic School Awards

Fr. Mike Ortiz was honored with the “Good Shepherd Award” from the Diocese of San Diego Office for Catholic Schools. The Good Shepherd Award goes to one priest in the diocese who uses his gifts and talents to serve Catholic schools. Fr. Mike has dedicated many years to serving CCHS as a chaplain, and has been a generous donor in the community.  Congratulations Fr. Mike!


May 19 – Campus Ministry Leader Retreat

Students who will serve as Campus Ministers for the 2018-2019 school year gathered for an afternoon of fun, prayer, reflection, and worship, as they prepare to become faith leaders on campus.


June 1 – Baccalaureate Liturgy

Seniors, faculty, administration, and families gathered to celebrate the final CCHS liturgy for the Senior Class of 2018.  The Baccalaureate Liturgy was celebrated by school chaplain, Fr. Martin Latiff. He was joined by Fr. Patrick, Fr. Richard, and Fr. Mike as concelebrants.


Third Quarter Review

The Office of Mission and Ministry wants to thank everyone in the Cathedral Catholic family for an amazing third quarter! With the support of parents, employees, and students, we are spreading God’s love and building a “Culture of Encounter” on campus and in our community. Here are a few highlights:

January 9 – Wellness Day Liturgy

Fr. John Amsberry, pastor of St Charles Borromeo, celebrated mass for our community during our annual “Wellness Day.” This year, students focused on the theme of balance in their lives through prayer and class activities.


January 13 – Casa Hogar, Mexicali, Mexico

A group of students, faculty, and staff traveled to Mexicali to spend a day at “Casa Hogar.” Our communities came together for a day of fellowship, games, and friendship. Students were able to practice their Spanish skills and to learn more about orphanages in Mexico through this special partnership.  


January 17-19 – Junior Retreat

Mr. Gramme’s Senior Campus Ministry Class developed and led our second retreat for the Junior class centered around their class theme of “Build the Kingdom.” Pictured here are the young men of this retreat reflecting on what it means to be a man of God.


January 24 – One Night: LGBT and the Catholic Church – Reflections on Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity

Ms. Purpera, John Galvan (Director of Schools, Diocese of San Diego), and Esteban Del Rio (Associate Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, University of San Diego), came together to reflect on what it means to welcome LGBT students in a Catholic school environment in a presentation for parents. The reflections centered around the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s instructions to welcome our LGBT students with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”


January 27 – Nicaragua and Appalachia Immersion Retreat

Students preparing to travel to Nicaragua and West Virginia came together for a day of reflection and prayer. Students and participating faculty learned more about what it means to be in solidarity with the people and cultures they will be encountering during their week of service over Easter vacation. 


January 29 thru February 2 – Catholic Schools Week

Cathedral Catholic celebrated Catholic Schools Week through a week of activities to celebrate Catholic education. Pictured is Mrs. Schrimpf’s class and Fr. Matt Spahr, alumnus of University of San Diego High School. Fr. Matt celebrated mass with our community as we reflected on the theme of Vocations in Catholic Schools.  


January 31 – Conclusion of Dead Man Walking Book Club

Faculty, staff, and administrators met twice a month through the school year to read and reflect on Sr. Helen Prejean’s book, “Dead Man Walking,” in preparation for her visit to the school in February.  


February 5 – Junior Unity Mass

Our annual Junior Unity Mass invited all Juniors and their parents to come together in prayer. Pictured here is Junior Lauren Munro, who welcomed the Junior class and reflected on what it means to be unified as they prepare to be leaders on campus.  


February 7-9 – Kairos 8

Mr. Hurt directed our Kairos 8 retreat for Seniors. Seven employees and seven student leaders teamed up to lead the Seniors through a retreat focused on God’s time and his unconditional love. The Kairos retreat program has been thriving at CCHS! Live the Fourth!


February 14 – Ash Wednesday

Former UNI chaplain, Fr. Michael White, celebrated mass with the Cathedral Catholic community on Ash Wednesday to kick off our Lenten observances. He is pictured here with Mr. Montali and Luke Grazier (Sophomore).


February 14-15 – Homeless for a Night

Mr. Hurt, Mr. Caro, and Ms. LaPorte led students through an evening of service and solidarity with the homeless population in San Diego. Students served dinner at St. Vincent de Paul and prepared a meal together with limited funds. They watched a documentary entitled “Tony,” which portrays the stories of local people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. Students then slept on campus to greater appreciate and understand what it is like to spend a night without shelter.


February 20 – Kick off of CCHS Lent Drive

During Lent, students responded to our commitment to almsgiving by raising funds for local Catholic Elementary schools who are in need of financial assistance. Four local schools received donations raised by our Cathedral Catholic students.


February 26 thru March 2 – LIFE Week

Dons for Life, led by Ms. LaPorte, put together a week of activities for students to learn about important pro-life issues including abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. The week aimed at fostering a greater awareness surrounding these issues, and encouraged students to advocate for life and to pray for a greater respect for human dignity. Below, students are pictured during the “Celebrate Life!” event held on the last day of the week.  


February 28 – Sr. Helen Prejean visits CCHS

Sr. Helen Prejean CSJ, visited Cathedral Catholic High School to speak about her work with prisoners on death row, and about her involvement in the Catholic campaign to end the death penalty in the United States. Sr. Helen spoke to the student body, visited classrooms, had lunch with students, met the cast of Dead Man Walking, and spoke to the adult community in the evening. She challenged all of us to defend human life and to respond to Jesus’ call.  


February 28 thru March 2 – Junior Retreat

Mr. Hurt’s Senior Campus Ministry class led our third Junior Retreat of the year at Whispering Winds in Julian. Here, the students are participating in a tradition on the retreat called “Shine your Light.”


March 3 – Spring Sports Liturgy

Student athletes and coaches gathered for a special liturgy to bless the Spring sports season. Fr. Martin Latiff celebrated this mass in our St. Therese chapel. This new Cathedral Catholic tradition emphasizes the importance of faith and community in our sports teams.  


March 9 – NCEA Youth Virtue, Vision, and Valor Award

Senior Brycen Newman was honored with the NCEA Youth Virtue, Valor, and Vision Award, given to only 10 Catholic school students throughout the country.
Brycen received the award for his work to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer, after surviving brain cancer himself.



Second Quarter Review

The Office of Mission and Ministry wants to thank everyone in the Cathedral Catholic family for an amazing second quarter!  With the support of parents, employees, and students, we are spreading God’s love and building a “Culture of Encounter” on campus and in our community.  Here are a few highlights:

October 17: All School Mass celebrated by Fr. John Amsberry

Fr. John Amsberry from St. Charles Borromeo Parish celebrated an energetic and spirit-filled mass with our community.  He stuck around campus after to hand out buttons that said “You are Loved” to the students.


October 25 and 26: Sophomore Retreat

Sophomore girls and boys each had one day retreats to reflect on how they can “Live the Call,” at school and in their lives.  The girls welcomed Emily Wilson and the boys welcomed Andrew Laubacher as special guest speakers.  The day included the celebration of mass, games, student speakers, and small group sharing.  Senior campus ministers from Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gramme’s classes led the retreats.


November 1-3: Junior Retreat

Our first Junior Retreat of the year invited Juniors to pray and bond as a class and reflect on the theme of “Building the Kingdom.”  The retreat was led by Ms. Lopez’s Senior Campus Ministers and included faith talks, games, small group discussions, and time for prayer and reconciliation.  


November 3-6: Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

Cathedral Catholic students, along with Ms. Cairns and Mr. Hurt, travelled to Washington DC to participate in the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.  Students learned about social justice issues affecting our society through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching.  The students also practiced advocacy by speaking with Congressional representatives about human rights and dignity.  They heard many influential speakers, including Fr. James Martin, who is pictured with our students here!


November 4: Casa Hogar Orphanage

CCHS students and employees travelled to Mexicali, Mexico to visit Casa Hogar, an orphanage that cares for over 20 children.  The students spent the day learning about how orphanages in Mexico operate, and creating new friendships with the kids that lived there through playing soccer, sharing stories, and having lunch together.


November 6: Employee Teaching Mass

As part of our adult faith formation program, Fr. Martin Latiff led the faculty and staff through a teaching mass.  The adult community learned more about the mysteries of the mass and how we can more fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist.  


November 7 – 9: Kairos 7

60 seniors and 8 employees retreated to Palomar Christian Conference Center for Kairos 7, led by Mrs. Schrimpf.  The Senior Kairos retreat experience is a profound experience of God’s immeasurable love. On this retreat, Seniors discover the grace of God’s presence in our lives through family, friends, and community.  The tradition of Kairos is growing strong at CCHS!  


November 15: Campus Ministry Night- Friendsgiving

Mr. Gramme’s Senior campus ministry class organized a night of fellowship, fun, and prayer for the student community to reflect on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  Cathedral alum Harrison Trubitt, who is currently serving as the youth minister at St. Therese of Carmel, returned to give a talk on the importance of practicing gratitude as an expression of our Christian faith.


November 16: Catholic Charities’ Matthew 25 Awards

Senior William “Jag” Twigg was awarded the Matthew 25 award from Catholic Charities.  This award celebrates those individuals who live out Jesus’ call in Matthew 25 to serve all those we encounter.   Jag has participated in our Nicaragua Immersion, Border Angels Water drop, East LA Immersion, Baseball team service in Tijuana, the Ignatian Family Teach In for Justice, and has served as a leader on our Kairos retreat. Jag also volunteers in his church parish.

November 23: Fr. Joe’s Thanksgiving Day 5K

Cathedral students, employees, and families formed a team to participate in Fr. Joe’s annual Turkey Trot!  The Thanksgiving Day 5K is not only the most fun turkey trot in town, it also generates awareness and funds to help support Father Joe’s Villages’ efforts to provide and serve close to 1 Million Meals each year!


November 27: Grandparents Day Liturgy and Luncheon

Students welcomed their Grandparents to campus to share in a mass, celebrated by Fr. Martin.  This CCHS tradition affirms the importance of praying as a family and spending quality time with one another.  Cathedral grandparents are a vital part of our Dons community!


December 2: Carols at Nazareth House

Cathedral students, along with Mr. Hurt and Ms. Deiters, gathered at Nazareth House to sing Christmas Carols to the residents.  Nazareth House is one of our LIGHT group service partners.  It is run by the Sisters of Nazareth and offers dignified assisted living for the elderly.


December 2: Winter Sports Liturgy

CCHS Winter sports athletes, coaches, and families gathered for a special mass to bless their season and celebrate the first Sunday of Advent.  The mass was celebrated by Fr. Richard.  Pictured in front of the Chapel is the Varsity girls’ soccer team.  Roll Dons!


December 8: Immaculate Conception Liturgy with Bishop Dolan

Cathedral Catholic was thrilled to welcome back Bishop John Dolan from the USDHS class of 1981.  Bishop Dolan celebrated a beautiful all-school liturgy on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  He is pictured here with Ms. Jessica Swift (Director of Music), Philip Krol (Junior), and Fr. Richard (school chaplain).  

December 12: Advent Drive Collection for “Get on the Bus”

During the Advent season, students got into the spirit of giving by collecting backpacks, letter writing supplies, board games, blankets, and other useful items for the program “Get on the Bus.”  This program provides free transportation and support for children to be reunited with their mothers and fathers in prison.  Our students were incredibly generous and thoughtful with the donations they put together!  Thank you again, Dons!


December 14: Advent Prayer Service

Mr. Hurt’s campus ministry class organized an Advent prayer service in the chapel during lunch which included music, time for reflection, scripture, and student witness talks.  


December 14: XLTree Lighting

Campus Ministers organized a special blessing of the Nativity Scene and a Christmas tree in front of St. Therese Chapel.  After the blessing of the tree, students and families participated in a night of worship, adoration, and had the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  


First Quarter Review

The Office of Mission and Ministry wants to thank everyone in the Cathedral Catholic family for an amazing first quarter!  With the support of parents, employees, and students, we are spreading God’s love and building a “Culture of Encounter” on campus and in our community.  Here are a few highlights:

August 14: Employee Retreat

All employees gathered at St. Brigid Parish in Pacific Beach to kick off the 2017-2018 school year with a retreat centered around the “Culture of Encounter.”  Mr. Aiello from facilities and Ms. Tierman from the Learning Center shared reflections on the theme of “Encounter.”  Teachers also enjoyed small group team-building, time for prayer, and a walk to the beach.   

August 23: Liturgy of the Holy Spirit with Bishop McElroy and visiting priests

Bishop McElroy and priests from across the Diocese of San Diego celebrated our first all school liturgy, followed by a luncheon.  The Mass of the Holy Spirit, sometimes referred to as the “Red Mass,” is our traditional way of opening up our school year with prayer.  

September 6: One Night: What makes Cathedral Catholic?

Sandy Blackstone-Gardner, Fr. Martin Latiff, Chase Reynolds (class of 2017), and Alison Purpera welcomed a group of parents to discuss and celebrate the Catholic identity of CCHS.  This was the first of our “One Night” series.  Click here to mark your calendar for future “One Night” events.  

September 16: Beach Clean Up

Mrs. Lonergan, Ms. Purpera, CCHS students, and parents teamed up with I Love a Clean San Diego for Coastal Cleanup Day.  

September 14: Campus Ministry Night and XLT

Ms. Lopez and her Campus Ministry classes organized an evening of games, fellowship, praise and worship, adoration, faith talks, and opportunities for confession for the student body.  

September 16: Sports Liturgy

Fall sports athletes, parents, and coaches gathered in prayer at a special liturgy held in their honor by Fr. Patrick Wainwright. Winter and Spring sports will also celebrate a liturgy together at the beginning of their seasons.  

September 20-22: Kairos 6 Retreat

73 seniors and 8 employees retreated to Palomar Christian Conference Center for Kairos 6, led by Mr. Gramme.  The Senior Kairos retreat experience is a profound experience of God’s immeasurable love. On this retreat, Seniors discover the grace of God’s presence in our lives through family, friends, and community.  The tradition of Kairos is growing strong at CCHS!  

September 27-28: Freshman Retreat

Led by Ms. Lopez and Mr. Hurt, Campus Ministry classes hosted Freshman Retreats on campus to focus on the Freshman theme of “Let my gifts change the world.”  Freshmen celebrated mass together, had small group discussions, played games, and heard a powerful message from guest speaker, Jamie Cleaton.  

October 4: Employee Book Club

Many CCHS employees are reading Dead Man Walking by Sr. Helen Prejean, in preparation for her visit to Cathedral Catholic in February.  Employees gathered to discuss the first few chapters of the book and will continue to meet throughout the year.  

October 4: First “Faithline” meeting; Campus Ministry Club for Freshmen and Sophomores

Senior Campus Ministers started a club for Freshmen and Sophomores who want to grow in their faith through our Campus Ministry programs.  These students will be meeting monthly for Bible study and will receive special invitations for all ministry events.

October 5-6: Los Angeles Immersion

Mr. Hurt, Ms. Currie, and 7 students toured Homeboy Industries, volunteered on Skid Row, and visited a Catholic Elementary school in Compton as they learned about the realities of poverty in Los Angeles.  

October 6-7: Dead Man Walking drama production

Mrs. Wilson directed “Dead Man Walking,” a play by Tim Robbins based on the book by Sr. Helen Prejean.  The students did an excellent job portraying the struggles associated with forgiveness, mercy, and the right to life for all.  

October 7: Catholic Charities Food Bank

Students volunteered their time to help sort food at the Catholic Charities food bank warehouse on a Saturday morning.  Catholic Charities is getting ready for the busy fall season and we were happy to lend a hand!

October 12: XLT- Right to Life Month

Mrs. Blackstone-Gardner and Ms. Lopez joined student leaders in hosting an opportunity for prayer in honor of Right to Life Month.  Students said a decade of the rosary and Emily Smedley shared a reflection before praise and worship and adoration.