Our History

West Philadelphia Catholic High School has a long tradition dating back to 1916.   As a response to the need for secondary Catholic education in West Philadelphia, and on the eve of the United States’ entry into the First World War, ground was broken for West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys.  At its opening, the school was placed in the hands of the Society of Mary, commonly known as the Marianists brothers and priests.  From 1916 until 1926, the Marianists directed the school and established its foundation.  It was in 1926 when the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools assumed the responsibility for the education and spiritual development of West Catholic Boys’. The Christian Brothers continue to instill in our school the Lasallian spirit of community, faith, and service for the good of others. 

In September of 1927, as another response to the need for Catholic secondary education for young women, West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School began it’s educational ministry.  With an opening enrollment of 1,420, students came from West and South Philadelphia and the western suburban communities.  The faculty was comprised of thirty-two religious sisters of six different orders and three laywomen.  Each religious order brought with it a distinct educational style and the young women were exposed to a variety of Catholic religious traditions. 

While both schools thrived through the 1950s, the changing demographics of the Philadelphia area caused enrollment to drop in both schools.   This trend continued for three decades and it became necessary to combine the schools.  The Co-Educational West Philadelphia Catholic High School opened its doors on September 8, 1989.   Today, we continue our tradition of excellence by fostering the intellectual, physical, and spiritual growth of hundreds of young men and women of various cultures and backgrounds.


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