Roman Catholic High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia
Rchslogo.jpg
Fides et Scientia
(Faith and Knowledge)
Address
301 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
United States
Coordinates 39°57′30″N 75°9′43″W / 39.95833°N 75.16194°W / 39.95833; -75.16194Coordinates: 39°57′30″N 75°9′43″W / 39.95833°N 75.16194°W / 39.95833; -75.16194
Information
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1890
Founder Thomas E. Cahill
Oversight Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Rector Rev. Joseph W. Bongard
Principal Robert P. O'Neill
Asst. Principal Terrence Kane
Brian Conroy '91
Domenic DiMartino
Grades 9-12
Gender Boys
Enrollment 1000 (2012)
Student to teacher ratio 20.1:1
Color(s) Purple and Gold         
Athletics conference Philadelphia Catholic League
Mascot The Cahillite
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication Roamings (literary magazine)
Newspaper 'The Cahillite'
Yearbook 'Purple and Gold'
Tuition $6,150[2]
Alma Mater The Purple and Gold
Website

The Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia opened in 1890 as an all-male high school located at the intersection of Broad and Vine Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

History[edit]

Roman Catholic, or simply "Roman", as it is often called, was founded by Thomas E. Cahill, a nineteenth-century Philadelphia merchant. Cahill saw the need to create a school that offered a free Catholic education for boys, past their grammar school years. He died before he saw his vision come to life; however, the wishes that he laid out in his will were followed. As such, Roman Catholic opened its doors in 1890 and offered a free education to boys. Despite Cahill's dream, due to increased costs of staff and facilities, free admission to the school ended in the 1960s.

The school in 2013

Crisis of the 1980s[edit]

In 1985, the Archdiocese slated the school for closing due to lowering enrollment. However, Roman's alumni association, with the blessing of Archbishop of Philadelphia Cardinal John Krol, embarked on a campaign to save the school.

Roman's Alumni Association, which had existed for over 70 years, came together to raise funds and increase enrollment. The rector of the school even applied to have the building itself kept as a historic landmark, which was accepted. The significance of the historic landmark designation means the building on the corner of Broad and Vine Streets can never legally be torn down. Also, its exterior must always stay the same — though it does not have to remain a school.

The "New" Roman[edit]

Before 1986, students who attended Roman were from "feeder parishes"; Roman served as the school for the boys from the Center City, Chinatown, East Falls, Fairmount, Manayunk, North Philadelphia, and Roxborough regions of Philadelphia.

Today, however, Roman enrolls boys from almost every Philadelphia neighborhood, including The Near and Far Northeast, West Philadelphia, Fishtown, Port Richmond, Mayfair, South Philly, New Jersey, Fox Chase, and the outlying suburbs.

Roman Catholic was built to hold about 750 to 800 students. However, because of high demand, it is above capacity and holds closer to 1100. To select its students, Roman holds an entrance test every October, November, and December. Of the 600 or 700 students that apply, only about 300 to 350 will be accepted. Students who do well on these tests also may receive scholarships ranging from a few hundred dollars to as much as $4000 a year. Usually, about 40 students receive scholarships.

Roman, like other high schools, has a tracking system: that is, first track (also called honors track), second track, and third track. Roman, however, is unique in that it tracks its honors class into three classes. While students in the honors classes learn the same material at the same pace, it creates a better learning system to have students of the same level together.

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, Roman announceed the implementation of a 1:1 iPad initiative, starting with the incoming freshmen. Due to the ever-changing face of education, students require different tools and strategies. The initiative will allow students and teachers to individualize and differentiate instruction in a way that is familiar to today's students. Students will work on essential 21st century skill sets needed to meet state and national standards.[3]

Sexual abuse scandal[edit]

In July 2011, Philadelphia magazine published an article by Robert Huber regarding the 2011 grand jury report, which documented new charges of child sexual abuse by priests active in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The article included the story of Joe,[4] a 59-year-old who spoke of his abuse at the hands of Father Schmeer when in the ninth grade at Roman Catholic High School.[5]

Campus[edit]

Roman Catholic High School for Boys as it appeared in 1900

The school is located on the northeast corner of Broad and Vine Streets, and was designed in the Gothic Revival architecture. Faced in marble, it stands on a granite foundation. The building originally had a 150-foot marble tower topped in copper, which burned down in 1959. The original three-story building received a two-story additional wing in 1953, where the physics and biology labs and the cafeteria are located.[6]

Another addition – which included additional class rooms, offices, an Information Center, TV studio and computer lab – began construction in 1997. It also increased the size of the cafeteria. Then, in 2006, the 13th Street Annex, dedicated to James McSherry, an alumnus and benefactor to the school, was opened. This facility houses a sports training center, a multi-purpose room and the alumni association offices. More additions to the school are planned.[6]

The "JOHN AND MARY MCSHAIN LIBRARY AND INFORMATION CENTER" was renovated in the summer of 2013. The new Information Center added more tables and chairs for students to study, do homework, or read. It also added new and sleek computers for the students to use and a faster copier and printer.

Athletics[edit]

Roman Catholic has been prominent in the Philadelphia Catholic League in basketball since the League's inception, winning 28 championship games since 1920.

Roman has also had success in football. In the 2006 playoffs, Roman finished with a strong 9-3 record while losing to La Salle in the second round of Catholic League playoffs. In 2007, Roman defeated Northeast Catholic, and Father Judge en route to a win in the Catholic League Championship, 10-9 over St. Joseph's Prep. This was Roman's best record ever at 12-2. This marks the team's second Red Division championship since the inception of the new Catholic League format, which began in 1999 and ended in 2007.

Roman also has a rivalry with the public high school Roxborough High. This rivalry is has started an annual Thanksgiving Day football game; a game Roman Catholic has beat Roxborough at for decades.

Roman Catholic is home to one of the most successful crews in North America, practicing for over 10 months a year. Roman's crew team sculls (using two oars per man while rowing) rather than sweeps (using one oar a man while rowing). Recently it contributed a Lightweight Four to the Philadelphia Catholic League Rowing championships, finishing second in 2005 to Monsignor Bonner High School by six-tenths of a second. Roman's major sculling rivals are The Haverford School, Conestoga High School, and Malvern Preparatory School. In 2003 and 2005, two Roman students represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in Athens, Greece, & Brandenburg, Germany. In 2006, 2010, and 2012 the team won the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship.

Roman's golf team has enjoyed many years of success as one of the top teams in the league. Led by Coach Daniel Hoban '92, a PGA professional, the team has been able to work well together and learn many aspects of the game from Coach Hoban which has propelled the team to immediate success. Although this past season was a rebuilding year, the team still finished with a 12-5 record for the regular season but finished with a disappointing 8th out of 9th place at the Catholic League Championships.

Roman's ice hockey team has become a great part of the sports department. From its start in 1993, they have won 4 championships; 2000, 2002, 2010, and 2013.

Rectors[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Alma mater[edit]

The Purple and Gold
(Short Version)

When Day mounts the East, What flag does he hold?
He flings out his banner of Purple and Gold!
And when at the eve, He sinks to his rest,
With Purple and Gold still aflame is the West!

Then stand by the flag, The young and the old!
Its colors are yours – The Purple and the Gold!
A smile on the lip, A tear in the eye,
Salute ye the colors of Catholic High!

Refrain:

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

  • Msgr. Hugh T. Henry

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  2. ^ http://www.romancatholichs.com/cms/lib07/PA01923089/Centricity/Domain/121/2013-2014%20Tuition%20Schedule.pdf
  3. ^ "Roman Catholic High School - News". Romancatholichs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  4. ^ Huber, Robert, "Catholics in Crisis: Sex and Deception in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia", Philadelphia magazine, July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  5. ^ Huber, Robert, "Inside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Sex-Abuse Scandal", Philadelphia magazine blog, 6/23/2011 10:21AM. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  6. ^ a b "History" on the Roman Catholic High School website
  7. ^ Pray, Rusty (May 10, 2002). "Albert F. Sabo, 81, Abu-Jamal trial judge". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. B7. 

External links[edit]