Holy Cross School (New Orleans)

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Holy Cross High School
Holy Cross
Holy Cross School New Orleans Mar 2010.jpg
5500 Paris Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122
United States
Coordinates 30°0′50.17″N 90°4′32.39″W / 30.0139361°N 90.0756639°W / 30.0139361; -90.0756639Coordinates: 30°0′50.17″N 90°4′32.39″W / 30.0139361°N 90.0756639°W / 30.0139361; -90.0756639
Type Private, All-Male
Motto Crux Spes Unica
The Cross Is Our Only Hope
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic,
Holy Cross
Patron saint(s) Saint Joseph
Established 1849
Founder Fr. Basil Moreau, CSC
School district Archdiocese of New Orleans
Superintendent Sister Kathleen Finnerty O.S.U.
Principal Joseph Murry
Headmaster Sean Martin
Chaplain Father Johnathan Hymel
Grades K-12
Age range 4-18
Enrollment 995
Language English
Hours in school day 6.75
Campus size 18 acres (73,000 m2)
Campus type middle and high school
Color(s) Navy Blue and Old Gold         
Athletics LHSAA
Mascot Thunder the Tiger
Team name Tigers
Rival Jesuit Blue Jays
Chalmette Owls
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[1][2]
Average ACT scores 23
Newspaper The Bulletin
Tuition $9,500 including fees
Revenue 6,400,000
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Dean of Men Eric Desormeaux(8-12)Ronnie Kornick(5-7)
Director of Student Activities Eric Ferry
Admissions Director Brian Kitchen
Athletic Director Barry Wilson
I.T. Director Jerry Arnone, PMP,MCSE
Chief Financial Officer John Gerrets, CPA

Holy Cross School is a high school, middle school, and primary school serving grades pre-k -12 founded in 1849 by the Congregation of Holy Cross in New Orleans, Louisiana. The main founder of Holy Cross is Blessed Father Basil Moreau, who was beatified on September 15, 2007. Holy Cross High was originally named St. Isidore's College. Holy Cross School is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans.


In 1849 the Brothers, Priests and Sisters of Holy Cross arrived in New Orleans, after having established the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and took over an orphanage for the boys and girls who survived a plague. This orphanage, along with the first Ursuline School for Girls (the oldest Catholic School in America), was destroyed to make room for the 1923 Industrial Canal (the same Industrial Canal which experienced levee failures that flooded large parts of New Orleans twice, with Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005).

Historic Holy Cross Campus in the Lower 9th Ward

In 1871 Holy Cross moved to its historic site, which then was a farm named St. Isidore's farm, 4950 Dauphine Street, and built a renowned "collegiate-styled campus" and established in 1879 its current school, bordered by the high Mississippi River levee. This area has since become a Federal Historic District known as the "Holy Cross Historic District".

First chartered by the State of Louisiana in 1890, the name was changed to Holy Cross in 1895 when the present Administration Building was dedicated. A boarding program, which continued until 1973, attracted as many as 150 students annually from across the South as well as from Central and South America.≠

Holy Cross relocation[edit]

With Hurricane Katrina, the campus, like the majority of the city, was flooded by the Levee failures on the Industrial Canal and levee "over-topped" by storm surge along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) that destroyed St. Bernard Parish and Eastern New Orleans and Greater New Orleans in August 2005. The school has relocated to 5500 Paris Avenue, the campuses of the former St. Francis Cabrini Parish and Redeemer-Seton High School on Paris Avenue between Filmore and Prentiss Avenue in the Gentilly/7th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. Demolition of the various structures which once stood has been completed. This is one of the many steps in the construction of the new location which is now Holy Cross High School. The state of the art high school, middle school, and administration building have been completed.

The Advisory Committee of the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries informed Holy Cross School that it has been chosen to receive a $50,000 grant to purchase books for the school's library. She attended Holy Cross on Thursday, April 19, 2007 to present the 14 grantees in Mississippi and Louisiana, including Holy Cross, with the donation.

New campus[edit]

New Holy Cross campus on Paris Avenue, July 2010

Holy Cross School is now in the process of building a new campus on Paris Avenue in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. Buildings that have been completed include the Middle and High School buildings, with the Administration building coming online in January 2010. The campus will be completely covered by wireless internet, with all security and maintenance maintained through computer automation.

Buildings now in construction include the school's enormous gymnasium, as well as the maintenance building. The gymnasium will house an indoor basketball court with stadium seating, a full-size indoor track, collegiate level locker rooms, weight rooms, several practice rooms for karate and wrestling, along with a snack area and band rehearsal floor. The maintenance building houses the chillers for the entire school's air conditioning system, consisting of four 400ton chillers. All systems are fully automated with remote control access by internet.

Additionally, the school hopes to complete a chapel, pool building, along with a separate performing arts center and cafeteria. In the future to school hopes to cap its size at 1000-1200 enrollees in a few years.[citation needed]


Holy Cross School has risen since its near destruction to have one of the most sophisticated campuses, with technology heavily implemented into its school curriculum. Currently, all students are issued laptops individually to use at school and at home. This necessitates having a completely wireless campus covering over 18 acres (73,000 m2). Using cutting edge Dell and Cisco servers, the school maintains full automation of all maintenance systems on campus, with remote access control. The school partners with many providers to provide email, wireless printing, multimedia resources, and sophisticated equipment to all its faculty, students, and staff. Additionally, the new campus features Smart boards in all classrooms with all systems networked throughout the buildings.

Maintenance wise, all air handlers, thermostats, lighting, and security features are remotely monitored and controlled with full automation by computers.

This high-level ability has been built quickly up with the heavy support of Headmaster Charles DiGange and Jerry Arnone, the school's IT Director.


Holy Cross School fields teams and competitors in many sports. The school currently offers soccer, karate, football, basketball, tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, swimming, wrestling, power lifting, track and field, and cross country. Holy Cross currently competes in Class 4A of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

Holy Cross football vs. Jesuit football is one of the oldest continuous high school rivalry in Louisiana and one of the oldest continuous high school football rivalries in the United States. The first game was played in 1922 (which Jesuit won 52-0). The two teams have played every year since, including twice in 1963 (once in regular season and again for the state crown, which Holy Cross won). Jesuit won the 2011 meeting 37-0, but Holy Cross won the 2013 meeting with a miraculous victory of 16-13. Holy Cross won the 2015 meeting in double overtime by a score of 28-21.

The Tigers have also had a long rivalry with Chalmette High School, owing to Holy Cross' former location in the Lower 9th Ward and its large student population from neighboring St. Bernard Parish. Chalmette and Holy Cross were rivals in the New Orleans Catholic League from 1968 through 1988.

Holy Cross was the first school in the New Orleans area to field a football team post-Katrina in late September of the 2005 football season. The team played a shortened schedule and won four of seven games, including a playoff match. Holy Cross defeated archrival Jesuit during this season in the 87th meeting of the storied rivalry.

The Tigers were the 1939 state basketball champions. They again made the championship game in 1974 but lost to Brother Martin.

Holy Cross is also known for its wrestling program, and has won the Louisiana state championship in this sport 25 times. They have also had a total of 207 individual state champions and 192 state runner-up finishes. Twenty-two of those titles were won during the 24-year period of 1945 to 1968; 1951 and 1966 were the only years in this period when the state championship was not won by the Tigers. The latest championship was won in 2009.[1] These teams were coached by Brother Melchior Polowy who is largely considered the founder of High School Wrestling in Louisiana.

The 2009-2010 school year also brought great success to the Tigers in many areas, as the Tigers won state championships in swimming and cross country.

Primary school[edit]

In March 2014, Holy Cross School announced that they will become a Pre-K through 12 school. Holy Cross is the only all boys Catholic school in the Greater New Orleans area to offer a comprehensive Pre-K through 12th grade education. Holy Cross Primary School opened to all grades (Pre-K through 4) in the fall of 2015.

Alma mater[edit]

The Holy Cross Alma Mater is the most important display of spirit one can show for the school. When singing the Alma Mater, members of the Holy Cross family raise their right hands and extend their index fingers in a symbolic gesture of unity.

Holy Cross we hail thee, tender strong and true.
Proudly from thy towers, gleams thy gold and blue.
Glory's crown adorns thee, shining is thy fame.
And our hearts' forever praise thy glorious name.
And our hearts' forever praise thy glorious name!

Holy Cross Victory March[edit]

The Holy Cross Fight Song was derived from the fight song of the University of Notre Dame, which was also founded by priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Rally, sons of Holy Cross.
Sings her glory, victory or loss.
Praise her gold and blue,
and cheer with voices true.
Rah! Rah! For Holy Cross!

We will fight in every game
Strong of heart and true to her name.
We will ne'er forget her
And we'll cheer her ever
Loyal to Holy Cross!

Cheer, cheer for old Holy Cross.
Cheer her in victory, cheer her in loss.
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
Whether the odds be great or small,
Old Holy Cross will win over all.
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory.

Notable alumni[edit]


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Institution Summary". AdvancED. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  2. ^ "Institution Summary". AdvancED. Retrieved 2015-06-02.

External links[edit]