One Hundred Years. Wow. Think about that for a minute. We are here, at this special and beloved place, during an historic time. It is something that humbles and impresses me. We use this time to celebrate our current accomplishments, look forward to an exciting future, and reflect on our impressive past. To understand where it all began, please read the following paragraph from the official Brothers of Holy Cross Provincial Archives in Notre Dame, Indiana:
Cathedral High School may be considered as a monument to the late bishop of Indianapolis, the Most Reverend Joseph Chartrand, D.D. At the time of his silver jubilee to the priesthood, September 24, 1917, the members of the Cathedral parish, which he had served uninterruptedly since his ordination on September 24, 1892, felt that some mark of appreciation and gratitude should be shown to him for his untiring labors in their behalf. But what would be most pleasing to him?
Well, we all know that WE are “what would be most pleasing to him.” Cathedral High School was born out of a yearning to thank a tireless priest and bishop for his service to the faithful. But did you know that the actual first day of school back in that first year was delayed four days due to the death of another priest and bishop, the Most Reverend Francis Chatard? And so, on September 13, 1918, 90 boys, freshmen and sophomores, under the tutelage of three Holy Cross Brothers, began the life of Cathedral High School.
Now, all of these years later, we can look back on so many people to thank, starting with priests, bishops, and Brothers of the Holy Cross. We also thank the people of the parish who met on that Monday evening, September 17, 1917, to spawn the idea of creating a high school and raising the $50,000 needed to make it a reality.
Over the past 100 years, countless more men and women have worked tirelessly to carry on the tradition that started back on that Monday in 1917. We ask unabashedly for support, in terms of prayers, volunteer efforts, and yes, in the form of hard-earned cash. And while asking for money is not anyone’s favorite thing to do, we have been able to reach fundraising goals each year because we have a noble mission: breathe much-needed financial resources into this place and keep it going for another year, ten years, and more. You can be counted as among the thousands of Cathedral supporters who, since that initial fundraising meeting on September 17, 1917, have been serving the honorable purpose of allowing the faithful to be a part of something special, something timeless, something blessed and good.
As we prepare for the final days leading up to our Centennial activities September 13-15, amidst all of the tech-driven business and craziness of our lives in 2018, I ask you to hearken back to those first days on the second story of a grade school building at 13th and Pennsylvania Streets, and later to a new and larger building at 14th and Meridian, and still later when we moved to our current location on “the hill” on 56th street. The Cathedral faithful have been answering the bell for all of these years and the tradition continues today. If you are reading this, and these memories are striking you as significant, I urge you to rekindle your love for our school. Be a part of us once again. Renew your commitment to support our school and to help ensure its viability for another 100 years. If we don’t do it, who will? In 1917, it was the time for a group of parishioners who wanted to bring to reality the dream of a tireless priest and bishop. Today, the dream continues. And you are in that room, a part of the team, that continues to make this dream a living, breathing, dynamic, and faith-filled reality.
Thank you and may God continue to bless Cathedral High School! Go, Irish!
Faithfully and humbly,