Essex Catholic High School

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Essex Catholic High School
Newark, New Jersey
Type Private, All-Male and All-Female)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1957
Closed 2003
Principal Sister Mona at Essex Catholic Girls High
Grades 9-12
Color(s) Dark Green and White

Essex Catholic Boys High School was a four-year Catholic high school located in Newark and East Orange, New Jersey. Associated With Saint Leo's Catholic Church in Irvington, New Jersey. Essex Catholic High Schools opened in 1957.[1] They were separate all-boys and all-girls Catholic High School run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers and sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.


The school's original location was at 300 Broadway in Newark. In the fall of 1980, the all-male school was moved to East Orange, where it took over the location of the closed East Orange Catholic High School. It remained open at that location until June 2003 when it closed due to a lack of enrollment. At that same time, Essex Catholic created an all-girls Catholic high school at the former location of Archbishop Walsh Catholic High School in Irvington.

The school was supported in its early years by the efforts of the Most Reverend Thomas A. Boland, the Archbishop of Newark. In 2003, Archbishop John J. Myers agreed to close the school when the student enrollment hit record lows.[1] At its peak, enrollment hovered around 2,600; at its low, around 300.

The area surrounding the original location went into a sharp decline following the 1967 Newark riots. The situation was further complicated by an increase in tuition in the spring of 1970 that doubled the $300 annual cost to $600 per student.

The tuition increase was phased in over a period of three school years. The Class of 1971 went from $300.00 in 1970 to $400.00 in 1971. The Class of 1972 went from $300.00 in 1970 to $500.00 in 1971 and the Classes of 1973 and beyond were charged the full $600.00.

The school's 300 Broadway location is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and had been the corporate headquarters of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. The building was sold by the archdiocese to a private group who later opened a nursing facility at the location.

Following the formal closing of the school in 2003, a small group of alumni and supporters attempted to reopen a "new" Essex Catholic High School at a different location. That school has also ceased to operate.

Small groups of dedicated alumni still gather to celebrate the memory of the school. In the fall of 2007 a dinner was held at the 300 Broadway location to celebrate the 50 years since the founding of the school in 1957. Many former students and faculty attended.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Newark Archdiocese to Close a High School", The New York Times, May 6, 2003. Accessed October 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Adubato, Steve. "Public vs. Private; It’s more important than ever for families to have education options.", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed July 27, 2014. "I went to a neighborhood parochial grammar school for one year in order to attend Essex Catholic High School, an all-male institution that had maintained high academic standards despite being in one of the worst sections of the city."
  3. ^ Gramlich, Barry. "PASSAIC DROPS A HAMMER ON BC", The Record (Bergen County), October 3, 1993. Accessed October 23, 2007. "Turn back the calendar to 1971 when former Yankee Rick Cerone was the Essex Catholic quarterback against Bergen Catholic."
  4. ^ Irish, Jim. "The Manhattan Project; Forty years ago, under brash young coaches Fred Dwyer and Frank Gagliano, tiny Manhattan College was at the top of the track world. Here’s how the school unexpectedly won the 1973 NCAA indoor championship.", Running Times, February 28, 2013. Accessed April 28, 2015. "He landed the top-ranked high school distance runners in the nation that year in Power Memorial’s Tony Colon, who ran 4:06.0 in the mile and Essex Catholic’s Mike Keogh, who notched a 8:54.0 in the 2 mile."
  5. ^ Marty Liquori, USA Track & Field. Accessed July 27, 2014. "Education - high school: Essex Catholic (Newark, New Jersey), 1967"
  6. ^ Bob Molinaro, Accessed April 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "Prep Javelin Mark", The Arizona Republic, June 1, 1967. Accessed December 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Edward R. Reilly, General Assembly of Maryland. Accessed July 27, 2014. "Essex Catholic High School, Newark, New Jersey, 1967"
  9. ^ Wadler, Joyce. "PUBLIC LIVES; A Saber Rattler Teaching Sportsmanship", The New York Times, September 6, 2000. Accessed October 23, 2007. "He started fencing, at Essex Catholic High School, only because his mother bribed him with $5."

External links[edit]