| St. Joseph Pinole marks 50 years
The campus family of St. Joseph Elementary School in Pinole gathered last month for a special Mass kicking off a year-long celebration of the school's 50th anniversary.
Bishop Emeritus John Cummins presided at the Mass along with the parish priests. The event brought together students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and others who were involved with the school over the years. A reception and barbecue lunch followed the liturgy.
The next major gathering will be an auction and gala on March 8, 2014, at the Hilton Concord. "People are already excited about it," said Arlene Marseille, the school's principal, about the upcoming "off-campus" event.
When Father Thomas Collins was administrator at St. Joseph Parish, he took the idea of building a school to Bishop Floyd L. Begin. The idea met with almost immediate approval, and the new school was built. Although completed in 1962, the school's opening was delayed until 1963 when a community of Sisters became available to run and staff the school, according to the school's history page.
Three Sisters, members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis, came to the new diocese to staff the school. The Sisters opened the first three grades, which had a total of 103 pupils. Each year after that, a new grade was added. The school held its first graduation in June 1969.
Throughout the anniversary year, the school will sell keepsakes that bear the name of the school along with its logo. Today, St. Joseph School, which now includes a kindergarten, has a student population of 282.
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