“I think it’s fantastic to give people from lower-income homes the opportunity to go a private school with a good reputation,” festival-goer Rose Castellanos said. “You’re giving them a chance to go further in life.”
Castellanos’ daughter, Angela Castillo, attended the parish’s Holy Family High School and graduated two years ago. She now goes to Pasadena City College.
Castillo commuted from Commerce to attend the school.
“I liked going here because of the education and classes,” Castillo said. “It really sets your values and morals in the right direction.”
Three-hundred students are enrolled at the parish’s Catholic high school, and 310 students are registered at the parish’s kindergarten-to-eighth-grade school.
Father Joseph Shea developed the idea to establish an endowment funds for the schools. He launched the cuisine festival as a fundraiser for scholarships.
Several students commute from Highland Park and Cypress Park to attend the parish’s schools, Shea said.
“These families could only afford so much,” he said.
The scholarships are intended to “get the students out of poverty and make them wonderful citizens for society,” Shea said.
He said 100% of the high school’s students go on to college.
Shea, who has been reassigned after 13 years with the church, will become the pastor at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Simi Valley.
His last day with the church is today. Shea will be replaced by Father Jim Bevacqua, who will start at the parish on Tuesday.
“I hate to leave,” Shea said. “I love this town and the people.”
At Sunday’s festival, the parish honored Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center with their Excellence in Education Award for their support of private-school education.