Holyoke Catholic High School, Holyoke, Massachusetts

In the early part of the 20th century many Roman Catholic churches started schools to educate children of their parish. Though the schools were relatively successful, they were small and it was difficult for small parish high schools to offer competitive athletic programs. Monsignor Timothy J. Leary, headmaster and athletic director at St. Jerome High School in Holyoke, had the idea to bring parish teams together to play as one so they could compete against larger high schools. In the fall of 1947, the parish high schools of Holy Rosary, Sacred Heart, and St. Jerome played sports for the first time under the banner of Holyoke Catholic. “So that all may be one” was the motto for Holyoke Catholic. The athletic partnership proved successful and in 1963 the Diocese of Springfield would officially merge the three parish high schools to form one school, Holyoke Catholic High School. Later, the high school Precious Blood Parish would also join Holyoke Catholic. Holyoke Catholic High School, although composed of students from the four founding schools, began to serve an increasing number of students from throughout western Massachusetts. Neighboring cities and towns saw Holyoke Catholic as an option in education, and the school grew into a larger regional high school.

Holyoke Catholic High School, Granby, Massachusetts

At first the school was located in the building at St. Jerome Parish in Holyoke. Soon, however, the school found the need to use other buildings in the neighboring area. Temporary trailers were also brought in to accommodate a student population from throughout western Massachusetts. After several decades of use, the buildings’ condition had deteriorated, and the Holyoke location was forced to close. During the summer of 2002, the school moved to the site of the former St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby, Massachusetts. Holyoke Catholic stayed in Granby for six years. The campus, though large, was isolated, and the search for a more suitable permanent home continued. In 2008, the Assumption Parish School property near Elms College on Springfield Street in Chicopee was selected and in this location a new school was constructed. This new proximity to Elms College fostered a partnership involving the use of some Elms facilities and the opportunity for Holyoke Catholic students to take courses at Elms.

Despite the moves to Granby and Chicopee, St. Jerome Parish in Holyoke continued to be the location for its commencement ceremonies.