School News

Commitment to Mission

In 1920, Robert Wright, soon to be a member of West Catholic’s first graduating class, wrote an editorial in the school newspaper titled “Commencement.”

In the editorial, Robert wrote that while he was confident his graduating classmates would face hardship and disappointment in career or college, “we feel confident that we will have a clear vision, rise above our difficulties, and attain success” because of their time at West Catholic.

According to West Catholic President Paul Colistra, Wright’s words still resonate today.

“Every year our seniors talk about their experience at West Catholic,” says Colistra. “It often matches the experience I hear from an alum that graduated in the 1950s or 1960s—West Catholic helped them prepare for the world ahead, and it had a real influence on who they became.”

When West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys opened in 1916, it was created to serve students who lived in West and Southwest Philadelphia, along with other surrounding communities. In 1927, West Catholic High School for Girls opened just four blocks away from the “boys school.” Since 1916, West Catholic has been in West Philadelphia and has lived its mission of serving local families from predominantly working-class households. Today, both histories have merged into  West Catholic Preparatory High School.

See the full story and others like it in the Spring 2019 Alumni Magazine, West Notes.