Our Lady of Refuge Catholic School Celebrates 60 Years

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Our Lady of Refuge Catholic School (OLR) celebrates 60 years of excellence in education!  OLR School, parish and alumni will host a dinner dance on Saturday, September 28, 2013.  The festivities which are to be held in the parish auditorium, will take place at 6:30PM, following the 5:30 Mass.  Music will be provided by the very popular, Elm Street Band.  The cost for adults is $10 and children are only $5.

The evening promises to be one that will long be remembered as OLR welcomes back its very first principal, Mother Calista, who is 101 years old.  Mother Calista, now known as Sr. Elizabeth, and others from the Sisters of St. Louis Order will be in attendance as honored guests.

Our Lady of Refuge Church was established on May 10, 1948 by Father Hugh Vandenbergh, its first pastor.  It was a small parish of 127 families, but it was growing rapidly as post World War II subdivisions spread throughout the Long Beach area.

One of the first considerations of the founding parishioners was to establish a school where their children could obtain an excellent education in Catholic Christian teachings and academics to  prepare them for adulthood.

The construction of a parish school and convent was completed in 1952. In September of 1953 the school welcomed its first students.

The school was staffed by the Sisters of St. Louis, under the leadership of its first principal, Mother Callista.

The principals who have served Our Lady of Refuge Catholic School since its founding in 1953 are listed below.

  • Sister M. Callista Gildea, SSL (Sister Elizabeth Gildea, SSL)
  • Sister M. Dorici O’Driscoll, SSL
  • Sister M. Dolorosa Minogue, SSL
  • Celia McCabe
  • Theresa McDonagh
  • Sister Anna Marie McLaughlin, RSC
  • Mary Enos
  • Carolyn Horeczko
  • Dr. Joan Bravo de Murillo, Ph.D.
  • Tricia Holmquist

For more information please contact, Janis Krantz, Event Chairperson at jkmediapr@aol.com or (714)745-4380.

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