Immaculate Heart Students Celebrate Tradition & Togetherness
Immaculate Heart freshmen perform as “Nintendo Ninth Graders” during their first Welcome Day tradition on campus.
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.
The “Surf’s Up Sophomores” cheered on classmates during their Welcome Day skit.
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.
Immaculate Heart Middle School’s Welcome Day opened with Student Council members dancing with the Panda mascot before an exuberant audience.
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.
Theology Chair Stephanie Wong led the high school community in a meditation during the “Belong with Heart” prayer service, which was organized by the student ministry team.
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 outside games with water balloons and hula hoops, the students capped their day with popsicles and newfound friendships.
Students gathered on the quad following the “Belong with Heart” prayer service to celebrate togetherness.
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.
Students blew bubbles, tossed beachballs, and wrote their names in chalk on walkways to signal a new school year together.
A “Welcome Panda Celebration Mass” also served as a fitting bookend to the Middle School’s Welcome Day event by featuring the theme “Hope Dwells in the Heart” and the Angelic Voices student choir. Celebrant Father 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.
The Angelic Voices student choir sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” among other songs, at the first Middle School liturgy of the school year.
About Immaculate Heart
Founded in 1906, Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School educates and empowers young women in sixth through 12th grades from its location in the Los Feliz foothills near Griffith Park. The school has a long and distinguished history, with more than 11,000 graduates. Today’s student body of more than 700 young women is both geographically and ethnically diverse, drawing on students from throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, virtually 100 percent of Immaculate Heart graduates matriculated to colleges, including the most prestigious schools in the country.