While all Catholic High Schools have an opening Mass of the Holy Spirit each school year, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Liturgy is a unique tradition that includes a special welcome to all of our new students and a series of shared blessings on members of the entire school community. It is a wonderful introduction into the hospitality and welcome that is Dominican Spirituality!
Since the 1960s, the Veritas Dance has given Tologs and their fathers a chance to dine and dance together. Today’s event is a formal, themed, and a sometimes costumed affair with fathers, uncles, grandfathers, godfathers and other significant men accompanying students to the dance. Running parallel to the Veritas Dance is the Tologs Sisters Event: Dinner and a Movie. Started by three students in response to their own family circumstances, this event is an alternative activity for our young women who, for whatever reason, may not be attending the Dance.
In the beginning of October each year, the entire Flintridge Sacred Heart community celebrates “Veritas” and what it means to be an MSJ Dominican High School. Daily festivities are based on the Dominican Pillars of Prayer, Study, Community and Service. Included in this week long celebration is our Dominican Liturgy, a special Mass that includes reflections from the Student Mission Committee, a community lunch and a service or outreach project.
GOLF TOURNAMENT (October)
The Harry G. Johansing Annual Golf Tournament and brings together parents, grandparents, alumnae, alumnae parents, and friends each year to raise funds for the Johansing Scholarship which is awarded to students with demonstrated financial need. A day of golf is followed by a reception attended by golfers and non-golfers alike. Parents support the event as guests, patrons and sponsors.
VERITAS COMMUNION BREAKFAST (October)
At the Veritas Communion Breakfast, ALL the special women in our TOLOGS’ lives are invited to attend this event hosted by the Parents’ Guild.
HALLOWEEN ON THE HILL (October)
How good is your imagination? Be prepared to really get creative with your Halloween Costume for “Halloween on the Hill”! The ASB Board and Student Council create games and contests that involve the ENTIRE (yes, including the administration, faculty and staff!) school community!
JUNIOR RING CEREMONY (November)
Juniors receive their class ring as a symbolic welcome to the realm of upperclasswomen when each is paired with a senior, and the ring is exchanged for a rose.
SANTA TERESITA CHRISTMAS PARTY (December)
In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, the entire Flintridge Sacred Heart community reaches out to our little sister/brother school, Santa Teresita. Various activities are shared throughout the year but the most special event occurs at Christmas. On the last day of the school year in December, all the students from Santa Teresita arrive at Flintridge Sacred Heart with their teachers for a Christmas party. Two groups share responsibility for hosting the party: Seniors plan the party itself including the appearance of Santa Claus and ASB supports the party by helping to fund bus transportation and assisting in the pairing up all the students with Santa Teresita “buddies”. The Faculty/Staff and Parent Community of Flintridge Sacred Heart also partners with the Adult Community of Santa Teresita through a gifting of funds and gift cards. Santa Teresita’s sharing of their Christmas Program with Flintridge Sacred Heart is always the highlight of the event.
WINTER BALL (January)
The Winter Ball is coordinated by the Sophomore class. The whole student body is invited to participate. Dates are invited, though many seniors choose to attend with classmates. The Winter Ball takes place on campus with light refreshments served. The students come dressed in semi-formal attire and dance the night away. Doors to the event close one hour after the dance begins.
SPIRIT WEEK / CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK (January)
This week includes a special Mass celebrating the gift of Catholic education and a series of activities and themed days arranged by Student Council to promote spirit and community. Each day has a special dress theme and the Spirit Assembly is a competition between grade levels in different games and contests!
GRANDPARENTS’ AND SPECIAL FRIENDS’ DAY (Spring)
Flintridge Sacred Heart hosts a Grandparents’ and Special Friend’s Day where grandparents are invited to campus to experience what their granddaughters experience every day as students. The event usually includes a welcome reception for all grandparents, classroom visits, a luncheon and an assembly that showcases performances by various students within the Visual and Performing Arts Department.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY ON THE HILL (March)
A Booster Club lunch for fathers, daughters, and special guests, held on Crane Field during lunch on a day close to St. Patrick’s Day.
Gala is held every spring for the benefit of a special need that is identified by the Administration. Gala activities include a Silent Auction, Jewelry Raffle, Cash Raffle, and Live Auction. This special event is sometimes held in Flintridge Sacred Heart’s beautiful, historical main building, and occasionally off-site.
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENNA LUNCHEON (Spring)
Held in the spring of each academic year, this event brings Tologs and their mothers or other important women in their lives together to reminisce and celebrate their experience on the Hill.
CANDLE ROSE CEREMONY (May)
The Rose and Candle Ceremony, the precursor to today’s Candle Rose, has evolved over the years with minimal changes. Seniors still pass lighted candles to juniors to represent the transfer of wisdom and truth, and they receive single roses, a symbol of love.
Early ceremonies took place in the lounge on “Aloha Night,” which was the evening before Graduation. Students dressed in formal attire and carried roses and long, tapered candles. Seniors read prophecies and said their farewells, and they were joined by the juniors to lead the student body in singing the alma mater as they walked through the halls.
Today’s Candle Rose Ceremony is housed within the traditional Farewell Mass: the final, full community Liturgy of the school year. As in the past, the seniors and juniors exchange a rose and candle (though the candles are battery operated following current safety regulations!). Formal attire is now the formal dress uniform as the entire school stands in solidarity around the closing of the school year.
The witnessing of this beautiful ritual by the younger students allows them the opportunity to fully comprehend and participate the circle of sisterhood that started with the Ring Ceremony in the fall. As part of Mass, the Candle Rose Ceremony also becomes a special part of the final Liturgy of the school year; a farewell to the seniors; an expression of celebration for the juniors who are assuming leadership of the school; a time of great transition for the freshmen and sophomores who step into new roles of responsibility in the school community. The Senior class is also inducted into the Alumnae Association as the newest members by the Alumnae Board President.
From the earliest days of Flintridge Sacred Heart, young women have eagerly awaited Prom during their junior year. Although all the early Tologs were boarding students, many were local girls with vast social connections. The “out-of-town” girls were paired with “blind dates“ carefully selected for them from a list of approved, eligible young men. Senior girls in formal, floor-length gowns were individually announced to their waiting escorts, who were frequently dressed in military uniform.
Early Proms took place in the beautifully decorated Lounge and Green Room, with guests spilling out onto the quiet Patio for a breather between dances. As the evening drew to a close, couples could enjoy coffee and dessert hosted by the sophomores in the Dining Room before the young men bid their dates good night at the door.
Over the years, the length of dress, style of dance and even the location may have changed, but to the juniors and seniors of today, the long-awaited evening is as magical as it has always been.
SENIORS’ LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (May/June)
On the last day of classes for the seniors, the energy runs high! Our senior Tologs celebrate by coming to school with messages written on their uniforms and their cars (names of their colleges, their graduation year, “Go Seniors”, etc). They arrive bright and early to chalk their college names and celebratory messages throughout, and directly onto the senior parking lot! When classes end, the girls begin a run through the halls that concludes in a dash to the pool for a celebratory swim!
SENIOR TIME CAPSULE PICNIC (May/June)
After graduation practice the Alumnae Association hosts a catered picnic for the Senior Class. The event takes place on Senior Lawn. Seniors are given a class gift and invited to bring an item to be placed in their class time capsule. The time capsule is buried in senior lawn and dug up at their 10th class reunion.
SENIOR AWARDS NIGHT (May/June)
Senior Awards Night, held the Wednesday before graduation in the theater of the Mozilo Family Center for the Arts. Seniors dressed in their caps and graduation gowns process into the room filled with their proud parents. All awards, with the exception of the Veritas, St. Thomas Aquinas, Siena, and Tologs Awards, and the Award for Significant Achievement by an International Student, are distributed at this event.
SENIOR BRUNCH (June)
Freshmen host a special brunch for their Big Sisters as a last farewell to them. It is held the Friday before graduation.
This ceremony, designed for parents and seniors only is held on the Senior Lawn (just outside the Administration Building). Seniors wear white caps and gowns to the Baccalaureate Mass. They receive their Sacred Heart medals at this time. Sophomores host a reception following the ceremony for graduates and their parents, and faculty.
The most iconic ceremony at Flintridge Sacred Heart is also the most unchanged. Since the first senior class accepted their diplomas on the Senior Lawn (just outside the Administration Building) in 1934, young women have donned white gowns and carried red roses as they crossed the threshold from students to alumnae. Each class wears identical gowns that are unique to their graduation year, chosen by the seniors and approved by the principal. Around their necks hang Sacred Heart medals, presented to the graduates the night before at the Baccalaureate Mass.
Although the junior class no longer holds an ivy chain during the ceremony, the procession of seniors is still led by the future ASB president. She carries a bouquet of white flowers and shepherds young siblings of the graduating seniors, who act as attendants. With record-breaking class sizes in more recent years, Graduation has moved to the spacious Crane Field at the Student Activities Center with its breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains.