History of HCHS
For over the past fifty years, Holy Cross High School has maintained a focus on our mission: “Empowered by the Gospel message of Jesus”. In addition to our commitment to academic excellence, Holy Cross is dedicated to being Sacramental, Catechetical, and Transformational. Founded in 1957, Holy Cross is a coeducational Catholic High School serving the Diocese of Trenton, the Catholic Parishes of Burlington County and the surrounding areas of South Jersey. Holy Cross is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
We occupy a beautiful 78 acre campus located on the southbound side of U.S. Route 130 in Delran, New Jersey, approximately 25 minutes from downtown Philadelphia, six miles south of Burlington and eight miles north of Camden in a convenient suburban setting. Most of our students come from Burlington County, some journeying more than thirty miles one-way daily. We call forty-one townships home and worship with our families from twenty-two parishes
Holy Cross High School opened its doors on September 4, 1957, with a freshman class of 333 students. For over five decades, Holy Cross has sought to instill in its students a tradition of faith and learning that can help them analyze and adapt to the world they enter upon graduation, by making decisions grounded in the school’s Latin motto, Sapientia et Sanctitas (Wisdom and Holiness). Schools, in general, are places of learning and secular wisdom. Catholic schools, in particular, should also be places of holiness and spiritual wisdom, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Because of the extraordinary residential growth in Burlington County, the Most Reverend George W. Ahr (seventh bishop of Trenton; 1950-79; died, May 5, 1993) directed that a parochial high school be constructed to educate the Catholic teenagers of the county. The first parcel of land was purchased in April 1953. It was a peach orchard with more than ninety acres, in Delran Township, near the western side of U.S. Highway (Route) 130, and north of Chester Avenue.
The school’s cornerstone was laid in 1956 finishing a two-story, steel-and-masonry structure. Classes began on September 4, 1957. The school was dedicated in November 1957. The high school was started as a diocesan high school and did not come under the pastoral care or responsibility of any local parish. Three priests were always assigned full-time to the school until the late 1980’s.
The school is dedicated to and named for the Holy Cross – the instrument of our Lord’s crucifixion and therefore the instrument of our redemption and our salvation as Christians – because it was to be staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, from St. Mary’s, Indiana (near South Bend and the University of Notre Dame, which is operated by the Holy Cross Fathers and Brothers). The sisters “trace their origins to the Congregation of the Holy Cross, founded in the 19th century by the Reverend Basil Anthony Moreau in LeMans, France.
The Holy Cross High School Community believes it is in the forefront in education in Burlington County. We are especially excited about the many innovations introduced at Holy Cross:
• Our collegiate scheduling offers a student-centered, active learning environment to every one of our students. Students actively engaged in their education are better problem-solvers and begin to understand the benefits of life-long learning.
• The Tablet PC Program allows our freshmen to use a personal computing device in a learning environment. The concept of One-to-One computing will allow a student access to learning resources “Any Time, Any Where” during the school day.
Today, future-focused strategies bringing about a 21st Century learning environment are important as we continue to observe many of the traditions that have made Holy Cross great. From our Opening Liturgy to Senior Class Night, we continue with the activities that have helped build the spirit of our community over the decades. There is not a day that goes by without a parent, alumnae, student, teacher, grandparent, and the list can go on and on, speaking about the many great things that are happening at Holy Cross High School.
Our stakeholders are the keystone to our success! Our graduates are involved in every facet of American society: the arts and theatre, television, radio, law, government, education, business, and sports. It is because of the support of our many stakeholders our Catholic community is stronger as Holy Cross continues to offer a quality education rooted in Catholic values.