What is immediately apparent when visiting the campus of Cathedral High School is the striking, panoramic perspective of downtown Los Angeles, skyscrapers seeming to rise out of one of the end zones of the school’s football field — go Phantoms!
Not so obvious, at least to the outsider, is what the campus produces more of than any other Catholic school in town: exceptional numbers of young men who choose to pursue a religious vocation.
No, for that, you need a perspective not of distance but time, so consider this: When Daniel Garcia was ordained a priest this summer at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, he became the seventh Cathedral alum (Class of 1992) to choose the religious life in just over a decade.
Coming off of National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 1-7) and the urgency to foster vocations at the local, national, and global level, it’s natural to ask: What is Cathedral’s secret?
Turns out, the secret is there is none. In talking to some of the “Phantoms” who have answered God’s call, they made clear there are no magic words or gimmicks, but that what distinguishes Cathedral’s success is as apparent as its view of downtown.
“In the last couple of decades, there’s always been at least four brothers and up to seven [on campus],” said Brother Chris Patiño, a Cathedral alum (Class of 2002), who later returned to teach at the school.
“I know as a student this made a great impact on me. While most of the faculty and staff are laypersons, the commitment of the brothers to continue their presence at Cathedral is significant.
Indeed, at a time when religious men and women are fewer and far between at many Catholic schools and congregations, when their very presence is treated as an occasion as opposed to an everyday occurrence, the daily, consistent presence of the brothers, in habit, provides both modeled behavior as well as a constant reminder of what a religious life looks like and the very real-world effects it can have.
In other words, Cathedral’s all-male student body knows that such a life is not only available, but attainable….
The above comes from a Nov. 5 story in Angelus News.