The History of Xaverian Brothers High School

Xaverian Brothers High School's roots are in the Mission Church, Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish of Roxbury, Massachusetts. In the 1920s, the Roxbury parish had a thriving elementary school under the direction of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The people of the Mission parish saw the need for a parochial high school to continue their children's Catholic education. 

In 1925, Reverend O'Leary, C. SS. R., of the Mission parish, asked Brother Isidore, C.F.X., the provincial of the Xaverian Brothers order at the time, for Brothers to teach in the boys' high school. Brother Isidore agreed but was unable to send the brothers until the next year. In the meantime, the School Sisters of Notre Dame taught the first year class of boys. Consequently, when the Brothers opened the Mission High School boys division in September, 1926, there were one hundred and sixty-two freshmen and sophomores enrolled in the boys' division of the high school.

The school grew in size and reputation so that by the early 1960s, it became clear that a more modern and spacious building was needed. Many of the school's graduates had moved west to the suburbs of Boston. With the support of Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston, the Xaverian Brothers established Xaverian Brothers High School in its current location in Westwood, Massachusetts. The land that the school stands on today was originally part of the Forbes estate. The late Rocco Zoppo was instrumental in arranging for the Brothers to receive the land. He was the first of many philanthropists whose generosity has assisted Xaverian Brothers High School. The school's National Honor Society is named in Rocco Zoppo's honor.

On August 31, 1963, Xaverian Brothers' provincial Brother Gilroy, C.F.X., the first headmaster, Brother Marcellus, C.F.X., and Cardinal Cushing officiated at the dedication ceremony for the new Xaverian Brothers High School. An article dated August 24, 1963 from the Westwood News described the new school:

"During the first year, 251 ninth graders will occupy the first floor wing. There will be 1,000 students when they graduate in four years… [Brother Marcellus] is happy with the $2,300,000 structure, designed by Shields Brothers of Quincy and Scully Contractors of Boston… Four lay teachers will join the brothers and the faculty in making the program, flexible, modern, comprehensive, interesting, and above all tough...

The chapel is simply and beautifully, designed with striking stained glass windows. Other facilities include a 10,000 volume library, a large cafeteria, a 500-seat auditorium, a gymnasium, 25 classrooms and laboratories for biology, physics and chemistry. The building is equipped with an up-to-date public address system reaching all sections and closed-circuit TV in all classrooms; we can both transmit and receive. The extensive extra-curricular program will include music, speech, debating, dramatics, journalism, photography, science, math and foreign language clubs. Also radio - the principal himself is a long-time ham radio operator - and athletics."

This great start would be the foundation of the building of one of Massachusetts' premier Catholic High Schools.

To learn more about the history of Xaverian Brothers High School, please click the history tabs to your left.

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