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Founders Day Celebrated

Bishop James T. O’Dowd had a vision that Catholic schools would be places where students and teachers would come together to learn, serve, and grow, and he worked tirelessly as Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to establish schools where this vision could be carried out. Bishop O’Dowd High School was the last school Bishop O’Dowd founded before he died tragically in a car accident in 1950. He was only 42 years old.


Today, O’Dowd students, faculty, and staff are the torchbearers for our founder’s vision, expressed so fully in his personal motto “Cor Unum in Christo,” which is Latin for “One Heart in Christ,” that was adopted as the school’s motto.

The school community gathered in the gymnasium on February 2 to celebrate Bishop O’Dowd and Catholic Schools Week with prayer, reflection, song, and fun. The celebration was organized by the Campus Ministry Team, the Associated Student Body, and S-Corps (the student action team of the Sustainability Department).

In his reflection, Principal JD Childs said that Cor Unum in Christo is a way of describing Community in Diversity – one of the integral elements of the school’s charism. “We are always stronger as a school, we always stronger as a community, each one of us can be made better than we can be on our own, to the extent that we are willing to become a Community in Diversity to enact One Heart in Christ,” he said.

A rousing game of O’Dowd Jeopardy – with categories that included history, teacher quotes, sports, and miscellaneous – and a Dragon Pride rap, written by Math teacher Willie Van Doren, and performed by Van Doren, Student Activities Director Starr Saunders ’98, Will Chavarin ’19 and Living Lab staff member Jeremy Pearson – rounded out the celebration.

At the end of the school day, students were treated to It’s It ice cream treats.



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