Immaculate Heart’s campus roared back to life this month as students welcomed the school community’s newest members and also celebrated togetherness through tradition, worship, and rollicking fun.
September opened with Immaculate Heart freshmen taking center stage as the “Nintendo Ninth Graders” as they participated in their first Welcome Day, a beloved tradition that dates to the high school’s earliest years after its founding in 1906. The entire student body gathered in the decorated auditorium to honor the 115 members of the Class of 2027, plus 19 transfer students and new faculty and staff.
By tradition, each high school class embraced a theme, complete with costumes and a poster, and then performed a skit, song and dance. Joining this year’s celebration were the “Top Gun Twelfth Graders” as fighter pilots, the “Rise of Juniors” as Minions in yellow tops and round spectacles, and the “Surf’s Up Sophomores” in Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses. Not to be upstaged, Immaculate Heart faculty and staff performed their own version of the popular “Barbie” movie that featured a choreographed “I’m Just Ken” dance.
A week later, Immaculate Heart Middle School presented its own Welcome Day in honor of its new students, including 78 incoming sixth graders, 18 new seventh graders and three additional eighth graders. Assembled in team colors of blue, red and purple, the students shouted a special cheer, squealed in delight as teachers welcomed them in a “Barbie Land” skit, and then danced and sang together. Following community-building games on the ball field, the students capped their day with popsicles and new friendships.
Later in the month, the high school’s campus ministry team organized a “Belong with Heart” prayer service for students to reflect on new beginnings, their gifts and talents, and their hopes for the new school year. Afterward, to celebrate their sense of belonging, the students, faculty and staff processed to the quad where they wrote their names in colorful chalk on the pathways, and then blew bubbles and tossed beachballs on the lawn.
The Middle School’s “Welcome Panda Celebration Mass” also served as a fitting bookend to its Welcome Day event by featuring the theme “Hope Dwells in the Heart” and the Angelic Voices student choir. Celebrant Frank Buckley, S.J., a clinical psychologist for Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, encouraged students to nurture hope and find joy in their school community. “Build a community where we see each other as unshakably good, and that will be a game-changer,” he said.
A Catholic, independent college preparatory school for girls in grades 6 through 12, Immaculate Heart has been located on a beautiful hillside property in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles since our founding by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1906. We celebrate more than a century of nurturing the spiritual, intellectual, social and moral development of students as they distinguish themselves as women of great heart and right conscience.