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75 Years as a Diocesan Institution

Bishop Loughlin M.H.S.

Lots of Sacrifices Have Produced Quality Educations

By Ed Wilkinson


Ed Wilkinson Photos  

When students and faculty from Bishop Loughlin M.H.S. paraded from St. James Cathedral-Basilica in Downtown Brooklyn to their school in Fort Greene, they retraced a similar march made 75 years ago that opened the school.

A Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated Thursday, Oct. 8, by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to mark the diamond jubilee of the school that has been conducted by the Christian Brothers on its present site.

Seventy-five years ago, the students and faculty walked from their former school, St. James Academy, on Jay St., to open their new school named in memory of the first Bishop of Brooklyn. At that ceremony, the student body gathered in the athletic field area next to the school for the ceremonial transfer of location, according to John Klemm, Class of 1965 and a faculty member who did much of the historical research for the anniversary celebration.

During last week’s ceremony, Bishop DiMarzio blessed a plaque commemorating the 75th anniversary. It will be placed on the Clermont Ave. side of the building, although it is yet to be determined whether the plaque will be inside or outdoors.


Brother Dennis Cronin, F.S.C., led the procession of students through the Lafayette Ave. gate onto the track area through the cheering student body who formed a phalanx leading up to the side steps of the school. The school’s band played marching tunes, followed by the National Anthem, the school song, and a rousing rendition of “Happy Anniversary.”

The students who attended the Mass at the cathedral represented the various clubs, societies and teams at Bishop Loughlin. As they assembled outside the church after Mass for the line of march, they unfurled school banners from Loughlin as well as from St. James Academy. During the walk to the school, they were escorted by an NYPD patrol car, all the while chanting “We Are Loughlin.”

During his homily, Bishop DiMarzio said, “As I reviewed the history of Bishop Loughlin High School, I came upon the image of a pelican, a symbol of the Church as a Mother willing to sacrifice itself for its children.


“From its very beginning, Bishop Loughlin was built upon the sacrifices of the Church and its members.”
The bishop explained that the site upon which the school now stands was originally purchased for the purpose of building a cathedral church for the diocese. A foundation was actually built and the cornerstone was dedicated by Bishop John Loughlin. But he delayed plans for a massive Gothic cathedral and instead used the monies to build much needed orphanages for children in Brooklyn.

Later, Bishop Thomas E. Molloy, the third Bishop of Brooklyn, decided that young men needed a high school and scrapped plans for a cathedral on the site.
“The diocese sacrificed a cathedral for a school,” Bishop DiMarzio told those in attendance.

Today, he pointed out that parents make sacrifices, sometimes working two jobs, to pay the tuition at the school. Originally free, the school began charging $75 a year for tuition in 1961. Today, it costs $7,000 per student.


“Loughlin has always been a special school,” pointed out the bishop. That’s why, he said, it continues to be a diocesan school receiving $250,000 a year from the diocese as a subsidy.

“If you look at the history of Loughlin, all you see is sacrifice to educate young people,” concluded the bishop.

During the Offertory procession, students carried a framed portrait of Bishop Loughlin and an enlarged facsimile of a 1908 diploma from St. James Academy belonging to James Aloysius Phillip. Across the top were the words, “Religion, Morality, Knowledge.”


The school recently changed its governing structure to a president/principal model. Brother Dennis was named the first president and James Dorney, a member of the faculty for the past 36 years, became only the second layman to serve as principal.

Facts About Bishop Loughlin M.H.S.

Dedicated – Columbus Day, 1933, by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy

Speaker at Dedication – Very Rev. Edward J. Walsh, C.M., Vice President of St. John’s University

Student Speaker at Dedication – John W. Cornell
Initial Enrollment – 1,800 boys

First Tuition – Free

Current Tuition – $7,000

Current Enrollment – 898 boys and girls

Chaplain – Father Rony Mendes

First Principal – Brother Antony of Mary, F.S.C.

Bishop Loughlin M.H.S.’s Principals

on Clermont Ave. —

Brother Antony of Mary, 1929-39

Brother Cassian Marcellus, 1939-45

Brother Aquilinus Joseph, 1945-48

Brother Anastasius Benedict, 1948-53

For additional pictures - Click here

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