Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory

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Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Signum Fidei. Caritas Christi Urget Nos.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep is located in San Francisco
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep is located in California
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep is located in the United States
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep
1055 Ellis Street

Cathedral Hill


United States
Coordinates37°46′59″N 122°25′24″W / 37.78306°N 122.42333°W / 37.78306; -122.42333Coordinates: 37°46′59″N 122°25′24″W / 37.78306°N 122.42333°W / 37.78306; -122.42333
TypePrivate, Coeducational
MottoSignum Fidei. Caritas Christi Urget Nos.
(Sign of Faith. Christ's Love Urges Us.)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic;
Daughters of Charity;
Christian Brothers
Established1852 (St. Vincent/Cathedral)
1874 (Sacred Heart)
Opened1987 (Cathedral & Sacred Heart merged)
School districtRoman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
PresidentDr. Melinda Lawlor Skrade
PrincipalGary J. Cannon, EdD
Enrollment1,314 (2016)
Color(s)Green, White and Blue             
SloganEnter to Learn, Leave to Serve
Fight songAlma Mater (See Below)
Athletics conferenceWest Catholic Athletic League
Team nameFightin' Irish
RivalSaint Ignatius College Preparatory
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
PublicationOracle (creative writing journal)
Endowment$16 Million
Tuition$19,500 +fees/pledge [2]
National Merit Scholars9 (class of 2013)
Dean of StudentsMario Sazo
Admissions DirectorTim Burke
Athletic DirectorPhil Freed
Jo Ann Momono

Sacred Heart Cathedral "Preparatory", commonly known as SHC, or SH, is a Catholic school located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, California. Founded in 1852, Sacred Heart Cathedral is the oldest Catholic secondary school and the first co-ed Catholic high school in San Francisco.

SHC is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, and sponsored by the Daughters of Charity and the Christian Brothers.

The school's motto is a combination of the Christian Brothers and Daughters of Charity mottos: "Signum Fidei, Caritas Christi Urget Nos".[citation needed]


The school is located in San Francisco's Western Addition, with the two academic buildings located on the corner of Gough and Ellis Streets.

De Paul Campus for the Arts[edit]

On the northwest corner of the intersection is the former Cathedral High School building, now named the De Paul Campus for the Arts in honor of St. Vincent de Paul. It houses the Sister Caroline Collins, DC, Theater, opened in fall of 2010; freshman lockers; the history, visual and performing arts, and foreign language departments.

The building adjoins San Francisco's Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption; the school's former building was razed by the Archdiocese of San Francisco to make room for the construction of the new Cathedral. The cathedral's rectory is adjacent to the De Paul Campus but there is no access to it from the school; the entrance is located on the northeast corner entrance of the campus. Pope John Paul II stayed in the rectory at the De Paul Campus during his trip to San Francisco in 1987, which is marked by a plaque at the entrance of the rectory.[citation needed]

La Salle campus[edit]

On the southeast corner of Gough and Ellis Streets lies the school's La Salle campus, named in honor of St. John Baptist de La Salle. This campus has a six story building which houses school administration offices, the library, and the English, Mathematics, Science, and Religion departments. The library occupies the entire sixth story, except for a small chapel and veranda.

Student Life Center[edit]

The Sister Teresa Piro, DC, Student Life Center, completed in 2004 at an estimated cost of $16 million, houses a 1,500-seat athletic gym (called the Pavilion) and 1,000-seat Dining Hall. The building is adjoined to an older facility housing a gymnasium , weight room, and fitness center.


SHC offers an array of courses, from college preparatory through honors and advanced placement curriculum. SHC syncs its course requirements with the University of California's A-G requirements. As a result, taking the required coursework for SHC automatically qualifies you for admission into a UC. All students are required to take English and Religious Studies for four years, as well as three years of Math and Social Studies. Students typically opt to take three or four years of Science and a modern language, and one year of a visual or performing art. Freshmen take physics and choose a language from among Spanish, French, Japanese, Mandarin and American Sign Language. Sophomores do a year of a Visual or Performing Arts courses and choose to take a Church History class or a History of Christian Art class (HOCA). Juniors and Seniors may choose from such courses as AP Government, Senior Seminar, Irish Literature, Asian-American Literature, AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Marine Biology, or AP Chemistry.[citation needed]

All full-time faculty, librarians, and counselors are represented by a labor union, the San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, Local 2240, which is an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO). and have a collective bargaining agreement with the Archdiocese of San Francisco.


In addition to basic information, applicants must prepare at least two essays about a specific question asked on the application. The applicant will answer questions about him/herself and what they can individually offer the school community. A recommendation letter from a faculty member of their institution previously attended is also required in the application. There is a fee of $85 for submission of the application. The letters of notification are sent out in March. Students with family members who graduated from Sacred Heart, Cathedral High School or Sacred Heart Cathedral, colloquially known as "legacies" have a higher chance of getting into the school and the De Paul Scholarship Program. This has caused some controversy in the admissions process.[citation needed] Sometime in the month of May, applicants are required to take a math placement exam to assess mathematical abilities.

Tuition at SHC for the 2019-20 is $21,050 plus $1,250 registration fee totaling $22,300 per student.[3]

Irish for a Day & Open House[edit]

The Irish for a Day Program allows any 8th Grade student to spend a day with two student ambassadors who will take you through a day in the life of a student and experience SHC firsthand. There is also an open house, where parents and students come to the school to explore the campus. Students often volunteer at Open House, giving parents a firsthand view of more academic parts of SHC.[citation needed]

Prospective students can also take a virtual tour of the campus, in addition to participating in the Irish for a Day program and open house.[4]


Sacred Heart Cathedral enrolls approximately 1,300 students from San Francisco and its suburbs. Reflecting the diversity of the Bay Area, students represent different religious, economic, and ethnic backgrounds, including Caucasian, Asian, Filipino, Latino, African American, and Native American. Recently, SHC (partnered, as always, with the Christian Brothers and Daughters of Charity) founded the De Marillac Academy in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, an impoverished urban community several blocks away from the high school.[citation needed]


The athletic teams, known as the Fightin' Irish, compete in the West Catholic Athletic League. There are 22 teams and 53 sport levels for boys and girls at SHC split into Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons. Boys and girls cross country, football, girls golf, girls tennis, and girls volleyball all occur in the fall. Boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, and wrestling compete in the winter. Baseball, softball, boys volleyball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys golf, boys tennis, boys and girls swimming, and boys and girls track and field finish the year's athletics in the spring.[5][6]

Sacred Heart Cathedral's long time cross-town rival is Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. The rivalry is considered the longest west of the Rockies and the oldest Catholic school rivalry in the country. The two schools compete annually for The Bruce Mahoney Trophy. Named after Bill Bruce, a student from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, and Jerry Mahoney, a student from then-Sacred Heart High School, in dedication of the loss of their lives while fighting in World War II. The trophy goes to the school victorious in the first scheduled league game in two out of three of the following men's sports: football, basketball, and baseball. Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory won the trophy in the 2011-2012 school year by sweeping the football (38-14) and basketball (45-37) games. The first Sacred Heart-St. Ignatius contest was a rugby game played on St. Patrick's Day in 1893. The Irish won by a score of 14-4 (3 touchdowns and two PAT's to one touchdown and a missed PAT).[7] One of the players, D.A. White, went on to be Chief of Police in San Francisco.[8]

Other cross-town rivals are the Crusaders of Archbishop Riordan High School. The varsity football teams compete against each other annually for the Stanfel Cup which was started in 1992. Dick Stanfel (Richard Anthony Stanfel) played at Riordan and was a coach at Sacred Heart. He attended The University of San Francisco and was drafted to the Detroit Lions in the 2nd round, 19th overall in the 1951 NFL Draft.[9] Most recently, in 2013, the Stanfel Cup was won by Archbishop Riordan, 21-24.[10]

The girls basketball team has had major success at Sacred Heart Cathedral. In 1990 Brian Harrigan landed the head job at Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco where he was a 1976 graduate. In 18 years at the helm of the Irish he amassed 597 victories, 6 WCAL championships, 10 CIF Central Coast Section titles, 6 NorCal championships and 4 state championships. His 2008 team was named the Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year and was No. 1 in the nation in every major ranking service. Harrigan was the 2006 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year and the 2009 National High School Coaches Association Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. SHC has won the state title five times: in 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2016. In the 2007-08 season, the Irish went undefeated in one of the toughest leagues (West Catholic Athletic League) in the nation, with three wins over 2007 Division II champion, Archbishop Mitty High School and three wins over arch-rival St. Ignatius. They were ranked the best team in the nation in the end of the 07-08 season. They won the USA Today National Championship in 2007-2008.[11]

The girls volleyball team grew into prominence in the 2000s as well. Under head coach Margi Beima, SHC volleyball has won eight Central Coast Section Championships, three WCAL titles, five Northern California Championships and one State title in 2014. [12] SHC has qualified for the CIF State Tournament eight years straight. Many players have graduated from SHC and had successful college athletic careers.

On September 10, 2011, the varsity football team set a national record, returning five fumbles for touchdowns against St. Mary's of Berkeley. The mark bested the NCAA all-division record, the NFL record and the recognized high school record for more fumbles returned for touchdowns. The touchdown scorers were Zach Tapel, Tom Wallace, Viliami Uikilifi, John Morello, and Dennis Light.

The Irish won three CCS Division III titles in the winter season in 2011-2012. Boys basketball, girls basketball, and boys soccer all took home titles on the same day, with the soccer team winning their first in program history. Both the boys and girls volleyball teams also won CCS in 2011-12, setting the all-time school record for most CCS titles in a single season at five. In addition, the boys basketball team also won the Northern California championship.

Student activities[edit]


Student activities at SHC range from clubs and student government to social events including dances, barbecues, and community volunteer opportunities. There are over 25 clubs, and many are created by the students with the help of a teacher. Current clubs and organizations include the Big Green, Block Club, Book Club, Shakespeare Club, Broadcasting Club, Chorus, California Scholarship Federation, Dance Team, The Emerald Newspaper, French Club, Spanish Club, Guitar Club, Robotics Club, the Inquiry and Innovation Program (I2), Mock Trial Club, Japanese Club, Lasallian Vincentian Youth (LVY), The Oracle, Speech and Debate Team, Spoken Word, Sports Medicine Club, Badminton Club, Video Club, Gaming Club, Art In Action Club, Chess Club, Tech Crew, Guitar Club, Comic Club, and the Yearbook Club. All students are encouraged to join a club, but only Freshmen are required to do so (if they do not join a sports team) as a way of immerse themselves in the school community. Most clubs meet on White days during their activity block created by the school so that everyone has the opportunity to participate without having to stay after school hours.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in non-club performing arts activities in the form of the Fall Play and Spring Musical, Digital Photography, Computer Programming, Instrumental Music, Concert Chorus, Chamber Chorus, Women's Ensemble, Testostertones, Vocal Jazz and Jubilee Chorus. Participation in these activities receives a graded credit.[citation needed]

Campus Ministry[edit]

Campus Ministry offers opportunities for the SHC community to actively participate in relationships with God, self, and others through discussion, reflection, service, and prayer. Through this community, teachers organize retreats for all grades, such as Venaver Montana and Venaver New Orleans. These are weeklong service trips on which the students incorporate reflection, discussion, service, and prayer, providing community members with the chance to authentically engage their spirituality. A key component of Campus Ministry is Lasallian Vincentian Youth (LVY), run by students who reflect service, faith, and community. In 2012-13, the school began offering the Kairos retreat to seniors and some juniors.

Performing Arts[edit]

SHC's chorus groups, theatre company, and band participate in and put on many school wide events. The chorus sings at school masses, special performances, and in front of international audiences. The chorus has successfully competed in competitions. Their choir has traveled around the world to destinations like the Philippines, London, Hawaii, New York, Italy, and Paris. Members have also performed in the Vatican in Rome and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The theater company puts on a play in the beginning of the year around November or December and a musical around March or April. In years past they have also provided entertainment at alumni events and put on a student showcase. The SHC orchestra performs at school masses, while the band performs in school rallies, concerts and sporting events and in the annual Columbus Day Parade, Chinese New Year Parade, and St. Patrick's Day Parade. The two also work with the Jazz Ensemble and Guitar Club to put together two yearly concerts for Winter and Spring, occurring in January and May respectively.[citation needed]


The SHC Walk-a-Thon is the only annual, mandatory student-driven fundraiser, in which the entire school participates in seeking support from friends, family, and the community. The homeroom with the most donations for the day is awarded a prize such as a free breakfast at the Student Life Center cafeteria. A yearly goal is set and each student is asked to raise $250 toward that goal. Incentives are given for turning in money early as well as for reaching the $250 personal goal. Prizes include a $250 "Shamrock Club Shirt", modified-dress passes, and chances to win cash, gift cards, or iPods by spinning the Prize Wheel. If a certain goal is reached each year, the student body will receive a day off. This event happens in September at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park. The Walk-a-thon raises money for student activities, athletics, clubs, student travels, construction of new buildings or renovations and updating technology for the school. Examples of use of the funds are the construction of the Student Life Center, library, athletic field, gateway and Fitness-for-Life Center.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Tuition & Aid". SHC. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
  4. ^ "Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory - Virtual Tour". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  5. ^ "West Catholic Athletic League". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  6. ^
  7. ^ San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle on microfilm at the San Francisco Main Library
  8. ^ "San Francisco Call 11 September 1911 — California Digital Newspaper Collection". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  9. ^ "Dick Stanfel Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  10. ^ "Sacred Heart Cathedral secures fourth straight Stanfel Cup". The San Francisco Examiner. 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  11. ^ Halley, Jim (2 May 2008). "Girls' Super 25: Sacred Heart Cathedral tops final rankings". USA Today. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ San Francisco Chronicle. September 8, 1892
  14. ^ "Harry Heilmann Stats". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  15. ^ "Joe Cronin Stats". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  16. ^ "Joe Cronin | Society for American Baseball Research". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  17. ^ "Eric White Stats". Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  18. ^ Melvin, Joshua (2012-05-10). "Longtime San Bruno Mayor Bob Marshall dies". San Mateo County Times. Retrieved 2012-05-14.


External links[edit]