October 1, 2018  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy (PMA), a college preparatory coeducational institution of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will host the blessing, naming, and dedication ceremony of the new Athletic Stadium which includes an all-weather turf football/soccer field and rubberized track on Wednesday, October 3 at 6:00 pm at the school facility located at 7851 Gardendale Street, Downey, 90242. The event will conclude with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Downey Chamber of Commerce and flag football games from local Catholic elementary schools.

The 17-acre Downey school that was once previously home to the co-ed Pius X High School from 1953-95, and was the site of the all-girls St. Matthias High School from 1995-2013, broke ground on numerous projects last summer (2017) as part of an $8 million campus master facility plan made possible through the support and funding of the John H. & Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation, Shea Properties and Shea Family Charities.

The Stadium and field will be blessed by newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop Marc Trudeau of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, San Pedro Pastoral Region. The school and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will honor the Smet and Shea families by naming the new stadium “Shea Field at Smet Family Stadium” in recognition of the contributions made by both families who support many Catholic schools and Catholic education initiatives throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The facilities are also used by numerous local youth and community sports programs including the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).

The former Pius X High School produced notable football athletes such as 2014 College Football Hall of Famer Darrin Nelson ‘77 (who played with the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers) and Lamont Hollinquest ’88 who played with the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers.

Last year the school relaunched its football program after having been in hiatus for 25 years. Just one year later, the new PMA Warriors will play their first Homecoming game on the new “Shea Field at Smet Family Stadium” on Friday October 5 against Stellar Prep under the leadership of Head Coach Todd Butler.

The school recently blessed the newly renovated baseball/softball field, which was part of the first phase of projects in the Campus master facility plan. Other projects included enhancements to the landscaping in front of the school, including a new LED electronic marquee sign; the renovation of a campus residence which will be utilized by Loyola Marymount University’s, Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education (PLACE) Corps program. As enrollment continues to increase and more families search for alternative option in education for their teenagers, these projects will continue the transformation that began in 2013 when the school was established as St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy.


WHO: St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy (families, alumni & friends) local government & civic leaders, and community members. Expected to be in attendance are local government and city representatives from the CA 40th Congressional District, the County of Los Angeles, and Cities of Downey and Paramount.

WHAT: Main Athletic Field Blessing and Dedication

WHEN:   Wednesday October 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

WHERE: St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy, 7851 Gardendale Street, Downey, CA 90242