Past Events

Senior Mass 2012

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Over 500 senior students from 24 Los Angeles area Catholic high schools came together May 1st to celebrate their upcoming graduations. The Catholic Education Foundation sponsored this event to recognize the graduating class they have supported through their Tuition Assistance Program. The event began with a mass presided over by Bishop Oscar Solis inside the beautiful church of the Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood, followed by a food truck extravaganza for lunch. The Senior Mass & Luncheon was a tremendous success in the sense that it brought together CEF-sponsored students and their benefactors in celebration of the Eucharist, good food and great music entertainment.

Featured at the event were a total of six gourmet food trucks that were rolled into the lot of Blessed Sacrament church to feed all of the 600 plus attendees. The food trucks included everything from lobster rolls and fusion burritos to kool aid on tap. To help burn off the calories CEF hired DJ Magic P to get the crowd going with popular music. At one point, several hundred students participated in what can be described as a modern day line dance. One student in attendance, Lisa Jimenez of Sacred Heart of Jesus High School, sums it up best, “it was nice interacting with our brothers and sisters schools…the environment was welcoming and very lively.” The Senior Mass & Luncheon was a great success and thanks to the efforts of the Catholic Education Foundation for continuing to make Catholic education in Los Angeles a reality for many

Santa Teresita Tree Planting

Tree Planting

Archbishop José H. Gomez, Chairman of the Catholic Education Foundation's Board of Trustees, planted an oak tree to celebrate CEF's funding of 8,400 student tuition awards with $9.2 million for the 2011-12 school year. The tree was planted on Friday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. at Santa Teresita School in East Los Angeles, an area where 13 Catholic parish elementary schools and three high schools have received more than $1.6 million in CEF tuition assistance this year in support of 1,467 students.

Almost 15 years ago, CEF adopted the oak sapling as its iconic logo. The CEF Board believed the Oak sapling best signified what CEF students are all about, that is: deeply rooted, strong, productive and hope-filled. The oak tree sapling was provided by Norman's Nursery, and was planted just outside the new Santa Teresita School library recently renovated by the Shea Foundation.

Regents Kick-Off Dinner


Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan announced a "$100 Million Legacy Campaign" for the Los Angeles-based Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) on Friday, Sept. 16. The purpose of the campaign, which will be conducted over two years, is to encourage CEF supporters to make provisions in their trusts or wills for the Catholic Education Foundation "This initiative will insure CEF's goal to help economically disadvantaged students with a Catholic school education and provide them with the hope of becoming future civic leaders, valued employees, and community volunteers," says Riordan, president of CEF's Legacy Society.

In attendance at the dinner was new Southland Archbishop Jose H. Gomez who observes, "Catholic schools have a tremendous impact not only on our area's Catholic families but on the entire Los Angeles community as well. Transforming young students into well-educated, responsible citizens makes CEF a significant contributor to our future."

Founding CEF Chairman Cardinal Roger Mahony, says, "It pleases me to know of the success of our CEF students and the impact today from establishing CEF 24 years ago. CEF provides the most underserved families in Los Angeles with a choice to fulfill their educational dreams at a Catholic school." Cardinal Mahoney now chairs the Board of Regents.

Transfiguration Visit

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On June 17, 2011 at Transfiguration School in East L.A., CEF met with Victoria Seaver Dean, great niece of Frank and Blanche Seaver and President of the Seaver Institute, who facilitated the $11 million endowment gift for the foundation!

The Honorable Richard Riordan, President of CEF’s Legacy Society, shared the history of the CEF with Victoria Seaver-Dean. Pictured with Mr. Riordan and Mrs. Dean are founding Legacy Society Members John & Dorothy Shea, CEF supporters Roger & Evelyn Cusumano and CEF Trustee Dr. John Given. For more information, please see our Planned Giving section.

Wendel In-home Event


On Saturday, June 25th, Peter and Gerri Wendel hosted an in-home event for CEF to help plant the seeds in the Thousand Oaks area. More than twenty people gathered to learn more about the Catholic Education Foundation. Gerri, who is one of the directors of ArtTrek, shared how “happy they were to host the event.” Adding… ”It is an honor to be involved in this program and that CEF should be so proud of the good work you do.”

Anthony Sciacca, VP – Development shared, “It is through such opportunities that we ‘plant the seeds’ and try to get the word out about who we are, who we serve, and the importance of what we are doing.”

Special guest Alex Radillo, a Junior at Bishop Mora Salesian High shared his story at the event. He spoke to the crowd about how much his education and experience at Salesian has meant to him.

It was a fun evening with their friends & neighbors, with many sitting around the fire pit until near midnight! For more information on how to become involved in these small, intimate gatherings, please contact Antony T. Sciacca at (213) 637 - 7496

Welcome Dinner for Archbishop Jose Gomez

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630 local community members, business leaders and supporters of the CEF joined together at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on May 26th to welcome Archbishop Gomez to Los Angeles. The evening highlights included remarks on the value of Catholic education from the Archbishop and a personal story from Anahi Esquivel, a CEF graduating senior CEF. “I am confident I can overcome any obstacle I am presented with,” said Esquivel. “To all of you who make Catholic education possible, not just for me, but for many young students out there whose lives are also faced with challenges: thank you and God bless you.”

CEF president Tom Barron welcomed the guests and CEF founding president, Hon. Richard Riordan made the presentation of an “LA Experience” to the Archbishop; a series of extraordinary visits to iconic sites throughout Los Angeles. CEF Trustee, Frank Sanchez who developed the idea of a Welcome Dinner as a way to engage the local Latino community in CEF’s mission, addressed the guests and highlighted the 98% four year high school graduation rate and 98% college attendance rate for CEF students and noted that 83% of all CEF students are Latino. “A CEF tuition award is not a ‘hand-out’—it’s a ‘hand-up.’ There’s a huge difference,” said Kathy Anderson, Executive Director of CEF.

Archbishop Gomez, made known his commitment to Catholic education. “Every child, even if he or she is poor, deserves the opportunity to learn in an atmosphere that promotes excellence and values. No child should be turned away just because a family is poor,” “What if we made it our goal to raise enough money in the next year to give all of the chance for a Catholic education? Of course,” he added, “this is not a one-year commitment. We want them to receive the full benefit of a Catholic education—from elementary school to high school. We need to ask more join us in this great mission…Together we can changes the lives of thousands of families. And through them, we can transform our city and our country.”

CEF is proud to announce that the evening was a smashing success! Net proceeds from the Welcome Dinner are expected to be close to $500,000 and 100% of the funds collected benefit CEF’s Tuition Awards Program.