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LA Kings Honor Mr. Jim O'Connor
St. Francis High School is grateful to the LA Kings for recognizing and honoring our beloved math teacher, Mr. Jim O'Connor. The video below is certainly a wonderful tribute to an incredible man, respected role model/mentor, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles Hero! Thank you for continuing to share Jim's story...GO KNIGHTS!

CHLA Hero - Jim O'Connor
Kairos 100: Celebrating 30 Years of a Powerful, Life-Changing Retreat Experience
St. Francis' first Kairos, Kairos 1, took place back in February 1987 and was led by an adult team that included Fr. Matt Elshoff '73, Fr. Greg Coiro, Br. Perry Rankin, and Ms. Enedina Jacoy (Observers: Mr. Mark Fredette and Mrs. Elenna D'Amico). 30 years and 5 weeks later, Kairos 100 departed from St. Francis High School for four days at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Montecito. We would certainly be remiss if we did not to mention the powerful legacy of Kairos that continues to impact the lives of the young men at St. Francis now 3 decades later. Both Fr. Greg and Fr. Matt spent a good portion of their ministry at St. Francis High School supporting and preparing Kairos teams. Mrs. Donna Huckaby was instrumental in bringing the Kairos Retreat to our school from Crespi. She began her career at St. Francis High School in the fall of 1987 and directed Kairos 3 - 79. It is on these impressive shoulders that we stand, as members of Kairos 100, in anticipation of many more wonderful years ahead. Live the 4th! 


St. Francis Remembers Chris Valente 
Chris Valente, long-time St. Francis Social Studies teacher, passed away on March 3, at his home in Dana Point. He was 75.

Valente was born in Utica, New York, and distinguished himself as a wrestler in high school, then toured with singer Paul Anka, before coming to California to attend UCLA. He began his teaching career at St. Francis in the fall of 1965 and taught through the early 1990's.
Described as "unforgettable" by Joe Profeta (Class of 1973), Valente was a "man about town" in La Canada serving as Honorary Mayor, a member of City Council, and Executive Director of the La Canada Youth House. He was also active in the Kiwanis Club, President of the local Chamber of Commerce, and a recipient of the Les Tupper Award for volunteers. In addition, he was a commissioner of the Los Angeles City Youth Council and a local business owner.
At St. Francis, he was a consistent advocate for students and moderated the Pep Club, organized senior trips to Hawaii and Europe, was the Prom Committee moderator, and Social Studies Department Chair. Among the classes he taught during his career were Economics, Sociology, World History, and Civics.
Said Matthew Westlake (Class of 1977): "He was one of the nicest teachers to me. He also hired me as a T-Ball coach when he ran the La Canada (Youth House). He seemed to have a humble, caring, vibrant attitude toward life as well as looking out for people others took for granted."
His funeral mass on March 17, was celebrated by Fr. Ken Deasy (Class of 1972), who recalled serving as an altar boy, alongside Fr. Matt Elshoff (Class of 1973), at Valente's wedding. A number of St. Francis alumni were in attendance.
He is survived by his wife Nancy, daughters Anna Marie Amigleo, and Gina Wendt (wife of Phil Wendt '92), sons Chris and Teddy (SF class of '96), and eleven grandchildren.
The family has requested that contributions in his name can be made to Once Upon a Room, 4926 Oakwood Ave., La Canada-Flintridge or to Royal Family Kids (www.royalfamilykids.org). 
4th Quarter Franciscan Virtue: Peacemaking
Take Me to Your Leader - A Reflection on Peacemaking  
An Austrian Army commander was ordered to lay siege to a small village in the Tyrol. His army had met stubborn resistance in that part of the country, but the advantage was clearly his. He knew that it was just a matter of time before he emerged victorious.  
 
His confidence was shaken, however, when one of his prisoners remarked, "You will never take Tyrol, for they have an invincible leader!"

"What's he talking about?" the commander inquired of his staff. "Who is this leader of whom he speaks?" No one seemed to know, so the commander dismissed the comment. paid little attention to it. Being a cautious leader, however, he doubled his preparations for the attack on the village-just in case.
   
As his army descended through the pass in the Alps, the commander noticed cattle still grazing in the valley and people working in the fields as if nothing were going to happen.


"Either they are not expecting us, or this is a trap!" thought the commander. He continued marching towards the village with colors flying, horns sounding a challenge, and weapons drawn. Although the commotion brought women and children to their doorways, no one panicked. Instead, the people of the village quietly returned to their household chores as if the threatening army meant no harm to them at all.
 

The commander found it increasingly difficult to maintain order within his troops. Some of the soldiers were answering questions from the children. One old warrior blew a kiss to a little girl standing on a doorstep. "She looks just like my little Lisa," he replied.


All his senses alerted, the commander still found no sign of ambush. When the troops stood in the open square at the center of the village, facing the town hall, he fully expected the battle to begin. An old white-haired man, apparently the mayor, emerged from the town hall, followed by ten men in simple peasant clothes. Carrying no weapons, the dignified group stood in the square, unimpressed by the huge armed force before them-the most terrible soldiers in the great and mighty army of Austria.
 

"Welcome, brother!" said the old man to the commander as he extended his hand. One of the soldiers immediately drew his sword, prepared to strike the man dead if he came any closer. But clearly the old man meant no harm.

"Where are your soldiers?" demanded the commander of the mayor.

"Soldiers? We have no soldiers?" replied the old man with a puzzled look, as if the commander had asked, "Where are your elephants?"

"But we have come to take your village!" shouted the commander.

"Well, no one will stop you," replied the old man.

"Are there none here to fight us?" asked the commander.

"No, there is no one here to fight. We have chosen Christ for our leader, and he has taught us another way."


The commander knew no military strategy for this kind of confrontation. After consulting with his lead officers, the commander retreated from the village with his troops, leaving it untouched.
 

The commander later wrote in his journal, "The village was impossible to take. Had I ordered my men to fire on those smiling men, women, and children, I knew they would not have obeyed me. Even military discipline has its limits. Could I command a soldier to shoot down a child who reminded him of his Lisa? I reported to headquarters that the town had offered unassailable resistance, although this admission damaged my military reputation. But I was right. We had been conquered by these simple folk who followed implicitly the leadership of Jesus Christ."


(Adapted from The Friendly Story Caravan by Anna Pettit Broomell. Copyright © 1962 by Lippincott/Pendle Hill Publishers. Out of print.)


The way of Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) still baffles people today. Yet his teaching hold true. Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and to pray for them rather than to take up arms. Not many Christians have taken those words seriously. What do you think would happen if we did?

St. Francis Seniors Honored as 2017 Archdiocesan Christian Service Award Recipients 
The 2017 Archdiocesan Christian Service Awards Mass took place on March 14th at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. St. Francis is so proud of our senior recipients, Chris Hidalgo '17 and Christian Ng '17! Both young men have demonstrated a deep passion for serving others over the course of the past four years. Congratulations "gentle-men"!

Spring Mothers' Brunch 2017: Saturday, May 6th, @ 9:00 a.m. 
Please join us for this special St. Francis tradition that honors all mothers, female guardians, female teachers/staff members and welcomes our newest freshman moms (moms only please)! Please mail back your RSVP card by April 17th. Space is limited and seats go quickly! The cost to attend is $25, but tickets freshman moms/guardians are complimentary. We have a wonderful program planned and look forward to a morning of celebration, entertainment, delectable tea sandwiches, raffle baskets and more! We hope to see you there!

Forging Men of Service 
"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

We are grateful for all of the students and faculty/staff members who participated in service trips over the past month. We pray that your service experience may inspire a lifetime of love and compassion for those in need. Thank you, gentlemen, for serving with joy and humility! GO KNIGHTS!


Society of St. Vincent de Paul Honors Fr. Matt Elshoff '73 
St. Francis is pleased to announce that Fr. Matt Elshoff, OFM Cap. '73 has been selected as an honoree at this year's Mardi Gras in May Benefit Dinner and Awards Ceremony for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles. In addition, St. Francis grad Kenny Lund '82 will be serving as emcee for the event. Fr. Matt is a SFHS graduate, active member of the school's Board of Directors, and former President of St. Francis. He currently serves as the pastor of the Old Mission Ines Parish community. We hope the St. Francis community turns out in force to honor the remarkable ministry of Fr. Matt and support the important mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Please click on the Save the Date flyer below to access more information and sponsorship details on the event website. GO KNIGHTS!

Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of In the Heights 
Congratulations to the cast and crew of In the Heights on a phenomenal run! We are so proud of your hard work and dedication - it certainly paid off. We are also grateful to our director, Mr. Eulalia, as well as the musicians and volunteers who helped make this production so spectacular! GO KNIGHTS!

In the Heights - Bows
1st Annual Grandparents Day Emphasizes Importance of Family
A special thanks to everyone who made St. Francis' 1st Annual Grandparents Day on Saturday, April 8th, a spectacular event! We are so blessed to be a part of a community that emphasizes family as a top priority! GO KNIGHTS!


Grandparents Day Tribute
Grandparents Day Tribute
Career Day Brings Grads Back on Campus to Share Experiences and Opportunities 



SFHS Key Club Tends Lanterman House Vegetable Garden 
St. Francis is proud of the SFHS Key Club members who helped tend the vegetable garden at the Lanterman House last month! It's fun to see that our Golden Knights have green thumbs in addition to hearts for service...GO KNIGHTS!
 


Golden Knights Rally in Support of St. Baldrick's Foundation, Childhood Cancer Research
Congratulations and thank you to the St. Francis student body for raising $11,000 in support of St. Baldrick's Foundation and childhood cancer research! We wou ld also like to thank the ladies from Sports Clips La Canada for helping us celebrate the occasion by shaving heads. GO KNIGHTS!


Why St. Francis? - Truly ONE IN A MILLION 
Why St. Francis? - Truly ONE IN A MILLION
Why St. Francis? - Truly ONE IN A MILLION

Dear St. Francis Family,  

As we enter the final quarter of the school year, we are thrilled to share our progress with you.  We are just over 90% of the way to our goal of raising $1 Million for the Annual Fund campaign.  We are so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of generosity from the entire St. Francis community!

Friendly Class Competition & Rewards

For the top class in each category (total amount raised and % class participation) through June 30th, we will be hosting a pregame cocktail reception before our 1st home football game in the fall of 2017.

4th Quarter Day of Giving: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

As it goes in any competition, the 4th Quarter is the time for champions to rise to the occasion! GO KNIGHTS!

 
   
St. Francis Robotics Teams Up with Technix Academy for Spring Robotic Egg Toss
A special thanks to the young men from St. Francis' Team Brobot for helping with the Annual Technix Academy Spring Robotic Egg Toss sponsored by the Learning Ladder. GO KNIGHTS!



Tomás Quiroz '19 Set to Attend Renowned Rock Dance School Summer Intensive
St. Francis sophomore Tomás Quiroz '19 has an exciting summer ahead of him. After many auditions around Southern California, he was accepted with scholarships to a number of prestigious ballet schools for their upcoming summer intensive programs, including the American Repertory Ballet/The Princeton Ballet School, The Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and The Rock Dance School. Tomás is also starred in the Classical Ballet Academy's Spring Concert 2017 at the Lanterman Auditorium on Saturday, April 1st. We are proud of you Tomás...GO KNIGHTS!



Class of 1970 Reunites for LA Dodgers Spring Training Game
Great to see members of the St. Francis Class of 1970 together for spring training Dodgertown in Phoenix, Arizona. Pictured from left to right: Dan Anderson '70, Jack Fogarty '70, Bob James '70, Dennis Becking '70, Barry Toby '70, Fred Weber '70, and Chris Knox '70. The brotherhood remains strong...GO KNIGHTS!

Julio Gonzalez '84 Opens New Restaurant, Asado Argentinian Grill, in Utah
Congratulations to Julio Gonzalez '84 on opening his new restaurant, Asado Argentinian Grill, in Orem, Utah! Explore the restuarant's website at http://www.asadoutah.com/ and make sure to visit if you're in the area. GO KNIGHTS!




 
Curt LaBlanc '85 Named Head Football Coach at Scottsdale Coronado H.S.


"Coach LeBlanc has a great deal of successful experience both as a coordinator and head coach," said Coronado Athletic Director Dave Huffine, a former football coach at Scottsdale Chaparral. "His passion for teaching and coaching came across right away and will be an ideal fit for Coronado.

"There is a lot of excitement with the massive facility upgrade with the new track and field being installed starting in a month. And with Coach LeBlanc on campus in the math department and the quality staff he has already in place, we look forward to what the future holds for the program."

LeBlanc knows it won't be easy competing in the same 4A Conference as state champion Scottsdale Saguaro. But he wants to help kids beyond football.

"I was proud of the consistency we had at Queen Creek," he said. "It was a great program out there.

"Regardless of what we do on the field, it's about doing things above and beyond football. It's an imperative need in society."...(read the full article HERE )
Sean Brennan '11 Nominated for Next BIG Rising Star Award
Congratulations to St. Francis grad Sean Brennan '11 on being selected as a nominee for the 2017 BIG Star Awards - Next BIG Rising Star! nominees are chosen by The San Francisco Bay Area Innovation Group for displaying outstanding skills and enthusiasm in bringing the benefits of advertising to his/her clients' businesses.

"Sean Brennan's growth at Just Media has been exemplary, from being the company's first intern to now managing a group of Paid Social Media Specialists. Si nce day one he has brought an infectious smile and a passion to learn that is contagious among the team. Sean was quick to pick up all the paid social media platforms and was promoted from intern to Paid Social Media Specialist in only two months. As a specialist, he handled up to 10 clients ranging from large B2B tech clients, such as AWS, to more blossoming clients as Lifesize, all the while learning the differences in targeting with B2C clients such as Wearhaus and Zepp Labs.

Sean, while being the first intern, brought a lot of firsts and innovation to not only the Just Media Social Team but also to the agency as a whole. Sean was the first to have his case studies published by Facebook, and was instrumental in multiple LinkedIn Beta Partnerships. He helped organize the department with countless forms to streamline work across media, analytics and social departments. Sean is also a founder of the Just Cares program, whose mission statement is:" Hand in hand and heart to heart, Just Cares engenders a culture of active goodwill and inspires positive change by sharing Just Media's resources with local and broader communities". Sean's positivity and outreach led to the first Just Cares event at the Alameda Food Bank and online virtual food-drive that raised over $1,000 in a few weeks.

It is crazy to think that Sean has only been at Just Media for 18 months; he has already accomplished so much and has a long-lasting footprint on the Just Media Social Team. He is often one of the first in the office and the last to leave as he touches the day to day on 8 accounts and manages 3 specialists on over another dozen accounts. As the team has grown and transformed, it has had a stable foundation with Sean Brennan as one of the managers. The young man who instills confidence in his peers, leaves smiles on his clients' faces, and receives respect from media planners is just beginning to blossom. His growth has been instrumental in closing new business for the company, as he has helped pitch and onboard large accounts such as Box and VMWare. All the while he has also brought in 3 other key members to the Just Media family across the media and social team, and even added another Brennan to the Austin office, with his cousin starting in April. The future is bright for Sean, and we are honored to nominate him for SFBIG rising star."

Congratulations Sean...the St. Francis family is proud of you! GO KNIGHTS!
Flights Over Phoenix Releases Debut EP
Here's a great article featuring St. Francis graduate Chris Santillo '11 (read the full article HERE ). We are proud of Chris (pictured in the center) and all of our graduate musicians who continue to pursue their artistic dreams! GO KNIGHTS!

Kevin Baker '14 Shines on the Mound for University of Portland
St. Francis grad Kevin Baker '14 continues to shine on the mound for the University of Portland. This past Sunday Kevin pitched 10 scoreless innings and the Pilots went on to defeat the Pepperdine Waves 2-1 after 16 innings. We are proud of you Kevin...GO KNIGHTS!



Grads Continue Baseball Careers Together in College
The spirit of brotherhood remains strong between St. Francis grads Matthew McElligott '16, John Bicos '15, and Andres Kim '15 as they continue their baseball careers together at Pasadena City College. We are cheering for you...GO KNIGHTS!

 
Spring Sports Continue to Battle for Playoff Eligibility
Please continue to keep our spring sports student-athletes in your thoughts and prayers as they train and compete during this busy athletic season. We are proud of each and every one of you...GO KNIGHTS!

   
Investing in Character Development and Family
A powerful reflection by Jared Little, St. Francis' lacrosse coach:

"Do you coach to win? Well, I don't coach to lose. But why do I do it? Because teams, like family, are worth the investment. You see lives transformed in the process and if you do it right, you win no matter what. I've won games on the scoreboard that really I've lost because I/we didn't play our best cause our/my character was not up for the challenge that day. And I've won games that I/we lost on the scoreboard because we gave it our all, stuck together for 4 quarters, and came out a better team for that next big game down the road. A game that can only be won by a tried and tested team." - Coach Jared Little


"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as an [athlete]." - John Wooden

Fierce competitors and exceptional sportsmen - the most important goal of athletics! GO KNIGHTS!
"Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose." - Walt Whitman // a great picture of a SFHS mountain biker during a training ride.


Will Mudie '17 Recognized as National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete
Congratulations to Will Mudie '17 on his selection as a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award recipient!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words 
Images from Across the St. Francis Community  
An energetic morning in the KNIT Television Studio in preparation for the day's live broadcast!
A special thanks to the Capuchin Franciscans at our sister parish, St. Lawrence of Brindisi, for hosting this semester's Franciscan In-Service for the SFHS faculty. We are blessed to share a unique tradition and a commitment to service.
Members of the SFHS and FSHA swim teams out in San Francisco while participating in a regional swim meet last month.
An energetic spring sports rally supporting the St. Francis baseball, swimming, lacrosse, golf, tennis, track and field, and volleyball teams. We also recognized the mountain bike team, robotics team, and SFHS Drumline.
Here are some fun images of our Freshmen students playing board games they made about The Count of Monte Cristo. Each individualized board game was ingeniously designed on the iPad but hand-built in the real world.
A powerful and moving "living stations of the cross" as part of our community's Holy Week celebration.
A special thanks to our amazing St. Francis moms for serving another incredible faculty lunch!
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