Cathedral’s History

A Condensed Time Line and History of Cathedral High School

Stretching back to 1884 and the construction of Holy Guardian Angels Pro Cathedral School, an educational enterprise has operated continuously on the current Cathedral High School campus. At times throughout the past century the school operated grades #1 through #12. Throughout most of the 1960s Cathedral operated only grades #9 through #12, but then again in 1971 it added grades #7 and #8. Cathedral High School was separately incorporated from the grade school and from Holy Angels (Cathedral) Parish in 1945. The school’s mission, inspired and informed by Catholic tradition, has always been to educate people while inspiring them to virtuous lives.

1875 – The Northern Vicariate, forerunner of the Diocese of St. Cloud, is established with Benedictine Abbot Rupert Seidenbusch, OSB appointed first Bishop. The Cathedral of the Diocese is established with the purchase of the Broker home on 6th Avenue and 4th Street overlooking the Mississippi River to the East. Bishop Rupert prevailed upon his confreres to make St. Mary’s – several blocks to the Southwest – the Cathedral but the monks chose to keep St. Mary’s as a Benedictine Church, thus the necessary creation of Holy Angels.

1884 – Bishop Rupert Seidenbush, OSB opens a school as part of the Holy Angels Pro Cathedral Parish. This was coincidentally the same year as the Baltimore Declaration.

1887 – A three-story grade school building is constructed on the northeast corner of the 200 Block between 6th and 7th Avenues North; it later houses the high school on its 3rd floor and still later becomes known and used as the Vocational Building in the 1960s.

1890 – A Pro Cathedral Rectory/ Chancery is constructed immediately adjacent to the Broker home which ultimately serves a dozen or more functions and occupants until its demolition due to neglect and disrepair in 2009.

1902 – Eleanor Irving, OSB, Principal of Holy Angels Cathedral Grade School, is asked by Bishop Trobec and Father Edward Jones to expand the school to ninth grade.

1904 – Basilia Cosgrove, OSB becomes the first principal of the High School separate from the grade school, a position she held for fifteen years.

1907 – The Church of St. Mary (Immaculate Conception) opens a high school under the direction of Alfred Mayer, OSB. For seven years, until 1914, there are two Catholic high schools in the city, both Benedictine-inspired.

1912 – A large, three-story, mansion-style Convent for the Benedictine Sisters is constructed immediately to the South of the school facing Sixth Avenue. Prior to this facility the Sisters shared the St. Mary’s Convent across town.

1914 – On the eve of what would become World War I, ground is broken for an expansion of The Cathedral High School on the northwest corner of the 300 Block between 6th and 7th Avenues North. Father Leo Gans is Superintendent. Bishop Trobec had recently resigned and the See was vacant; Bishop Busch is appointed later that same year.

1922 – Cathedral High School is accredited by the University of Minnesota and is continuously accredited from this date forward.

1925 – Cathedral High School receives accreditation from the North Central Association. The name "Crusader" is adopted for Cathedral students and teams.

1934 – Blue and gold are adopted as the official Cathedral High School colors.

1937 – After much discussion and an intervention by The Vatican, The Cathedral of the Diocese of St. Cloud moves from Holy Angels to St. Mary’s; The Church of St. Augustine is then assigned to The Benedictines in exchange for St. Mary’s becoming the Cathedral. Holy Angels becomes a regular parish but maintains the name Cathedral for the school, at that time grades #1 - #12.

1938 – In the depths of the Great Depression and on the eve of World War II, the cornerstone is laid for a new building immediately to the South of the 1914 building. Fifteen classrooms, science laboratories, a library, cafeteria, gymnasium, and music rooms are included in the new three-story structure.

1945 – On April 6th, The Cathedral High School is incorporated separately from Holy Angels Parish. The Board of Directors includes: Bishop of Diocese, Coadjutor Bishop, Vicar General, pastors of parishes of St. Cloud, Waite Park, Sauk Rapids and the Superintendent of Cathedral High School.

1957 – A new building on the northwest corner of the 200 Block between 6th and 7th Avenues North is constructed immediately to the South of the 1938 building across 3rd Street. This building includes a new cafeteria, kitchen, library, two large group rooms, home economics department, office space, and 18 additional classrooms.

1961 – Holy Angels Grade School transfers its students to St. Mary’s, St. Paul’s, St. Peter’s, and St. John Cantius; The Cathedral High School becomes just grades #9 – #12 for ten years.

1964 – Cathedral High School reaches its peak enrollment with 1,621 students in grades #9 - #12 only.

1967 – The North Gymnasium is completed at the corner of 4th Street and 6th Avenue North; 4th Street is closed by the City of St. Cloud. The structure includes a modern gym floor, seating capacity of 3,500, locker rooms, coaches' offices and one classroom.

1971 – Grades #7 - #8 return to campus. John XXIII Middle School is established under the leadership of Diane Theisen, OSB. The school begins as a cooperative project among The Churches of The Holy Spirit, Sacred Heart, St. Mary Cathedral, St. Augustine, and St. Joseph (Waite Park).

1974 – The Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul combine to operate Sts. Peter & Paul School; later The Church of St. Michael joins that effort; The Churches of St. Anthony, St. Francis Xavier, and St. John Cantius continue operating their own 7th and 8th grade programs.

1978 – The Cathedral High School Education Foundation, Inc. is established by a number of lay and clerical leaders. The original fund raising goal is $1 million.

1981 – Cathedral establishes its first development, alumni, and admissions office. The first-ever Director serves both the Foundation and the School.

1985 – Cathedral High School and John XXIII Middle School become one school with one faculty and staff, one administration, and one governing board.

1991 – The (Cathedral) Church of The Holy Angels, founder of The Cathedral High School, is closed as a parish. It had ceased being the Cathedral of the Diocese in 1937.

1995 – Holy Angels Church is renovated into Holy Angels Performing and Fine Arts Center.

2000 – The Church of St. Joseph, St. Joseph, MN joins The Cathedral High School Corporation.

2001 – The school reaches a modern-day enrollment peak of 810 students.

2005 – The Church of St. Mary Help of Christians joins The Cathedral High School Corporation.

2005 – The Investing in Our Future campaign generates $4.6 million of new capital for improvements to buildings and growth to the Foundation.

2008 – Using money from the 2005 campaign a passenger elevator is added to the 1957 building, major renovations and air conditioning are added to the kitchen and cafeteria, new bleachers are installed in the 1965 gymnasium, and the former Catholic Charities Food Shelf Building (Volkmuth Printing) at the corner of 2nd Street and 7th Avenue is purchased.

2011 – The Cathedral High School returns to its roots to serve grades #7 - #12 for all parishes in the Central Minnesota Metro and outlying areas. John XXIII and Sts. Peter, Paul & Michael are retired as school names as part of the merger agreement.

2011 – looking toward 2018: Eleven goals are established as the school’s Master Plan moving toward greater strength and stability – and value for stakeholders.