Catholic Memorial High School, as it was called at the time, opened its doors on September 9, 1957 with 225 students and five Christian Brothers of Ireland in the former St. Theresa of Avila Parish School building. The building, now known as Donahue Hall, was donated to the Christian Brothers by Monsignor Charles A. Donahue, V.F., LL.D. who was the pastor of St. Theresa’s.
The school was named "Catholic Memorial" at the suggestion of Richard Cardinal Cushing, to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Archdiocese of Boston and as a memorial to Catholic donors.
Brother Joseph G. McKenna, C.F.C., was the first headmaster of Catholic Memorial; he opened a new school building which was dedicated by Cardinal Cushing on November 10, 1959. Three years later the classroom wing was opened and the enrollment increased to 1110 students.
In 1971 there were 22 Christian Brothers, but in 2016, only three.
The Middle School opened in September 1993 with 185 students in Grades 7 and 8.
The tuition charge for the 2013–2014 school year was US$16,125. Scholarships are awarded upon admission to students in Catholic Memorial's middle school and high school programs. The CM admissions committee selects students for scholarship eligibility based upon their past academic performance and the results of the entrance exams. No applications are available for CM scholarships; instead, every application for admission is reviewed for scholarship potential. Financial aid is available for qualifying CM families. Over $1 million is given annually in financial aid.
Catholic Memorial offers 31 Honors and Advanced Placement courses.
Catholic Memorial (CM) is a college-preparatory institution. Students come from over ninety different towns and communities.
CM students have been accepted at Boston College, Boston University, Babson College, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Bryant University, Carnegie Mellon University, The Catholic University of America, College of the Holy Cross, Cornell University, Duke University, Emerson College, Gettysburg College, Harvard University, Iona College, New York University, Syracuse University, Wake Forest University, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California.
CM students carry out community service. A senior service program begins in March each year, with seniors taking one day out of each week to work at inner-city grammar schools, hospitals, non-profit agencies, clothing distribution centers, food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. Volunteers from all grades also visit Casserly House in Roslindale each week to tutor at-risk children and the Golda Meir House in West Roxbury to help the elderly. Each year, CM students send large delegations to the Walk for Breast Cancer.
Over ten community service clubs contribute hundreds of hours of service each year, with the Class of 2012 Senior Service Project contributing over 5000 hours alone.
Annual Blessed Edmund Rice Solidarity Initiative (B.E.R.S.I.) school trips are taken to El Salvador, Europe, Peru, Dominican Republic and, most recently South Korea and Canada.15 varsity sports, 48 athletic teams
75 percent faculty with or attaining graduate degrees, 4 Ph.D.s on staff
35 after-school clubs and activities
Over 90 cities and towns and 20 foreign countries from which students come to study
$9.0 million in college scholarships and grants offered to 2012 graduating class
95 percent of faculty coach or moderate extracurricular activities.
Catholic Memorial sports teams are known as the Knights. It is a member of the Catholic Conference, along with the Boston College High School Eagles, the Malden Catholic Lancers, the St. John's Preparatory School Eagles, and the Xaverian Brothers High School Hawks. St. John's is the sixth team in the conference in some sports.
Between 2005 and 2012, Catholic Memorial students' athletic accomplishments include:Boys' Hockey National Champions - 1990–91, 1991–92, 1993–94, 1997–98, 2005–06, 2007–08
Boys' Hockey Super Eight Champions - 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2008–09
Boys' Hockey State Champions - 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90
2007 All-New England Champion in Wrestling - Craig Carpenter
2007 All-American and All-State Champion in Track - Matthew Dewey
2008 State champions in basketball
2008 New England Rugby Football Union champions - rugby
2008 State champion in wrestling - Richard Wingert
2009 State champions in ice hockey
2009 All-American in American football - Brennan Williams
2009 State champions in soccer
2010 State champion in track - Donovan Henry (300m)
2010 State champion in golf - Joe Harney
2011 Massachusetts Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year - John Gorman (50th round MLB draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2011)
2012 All-American in Football - Camren Williams, Armani Reeves (both committed to Ohio State)
2012 All-American in Boys' Lacrosse - Thomas Stanton
2012 All-State champions: 4x100 meter relay team of Donovan Henry, Hanif Conrad, David Berment, Curtis West.
2012 Track & Field, Donovan Henry - 200m state champion
2012 Catholic Conference champions in Lacrosse
2016 Wrestling State Champion and Sophomore Nationals All-American, 3rd Place, Joshua Bechen
2017 Wrestling State Champion Joshua Bechen
Catholic Memorial's boys' ice hockey team is regarded as one of the premier high school ice hockey programs in the country. They compete in the MIAA as a part of the Catholic Conference, one of the premier high school ice hockey conferences in the United States. Catholic Memorial retains a bitter rivalry with nearby Boston College High School, another national power. They are one of only three teams to have won the Massachusetts Super Eight Tournament on multiple occasions (CM has won 17, while BC High and Malden Catholic have won 4).
Catholic Memorial has won 13 Super Eight tournaments, which pits the best eight Division 1 teams in the state against each other in a round-robin tournament to determine the Division 1A Massachusetts state champion. Catholic Memorial has consistently been ranked #1 in Massachusetts boys' ice hockey by the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and the United States High School Hockey Online (USHSHO) polls. Catholic Memorial has also been nationally ranked as the #1 team in the United States a number of times, most recently in 2008. Catholic Memorial was declared as the high school hockey National Champions during the 2005–2006 season by the USHSHO.
On March 11, 2016, Catholic Memorial students chanted "You killed Jesus" at the Newton North High School basketball team (Newton, Massachusetts is about one-third Jewish) in response to a provocation ("Where are your girls?") from some Newton fans. Catholic Memorial president Peter Folan later said "Catholic Memorial School is deeply disturbed by the behavior of a group of student spectators who made an unacceptable chant... We apologize for the actions of our students and we will continue to strenuously address this issue within our community".
Catholic Memorial students produce a number of publications each year. Errant is CM's literary magazine, publishing original poems, stories, and artwork by students. Knight Insight is published by the in-school Journalism class, and includes school news and updates as well as submissions from students. Additionally, the CM Latin Club publishes Equites, a seasonal newspaper. Yearbook Club meets year-round starting in September and produces the school's annual Yearbook, moderated by CM's very own Craig Spaner.
Catholic Memorial Television, or CMTV, is Catholic Memorial's broadcast journalist program. Using an online live-streaming program, CMTV broadcasts a short program every morning to each homeroom, reporting news, notices, and upcoming events and sports games. In addition to broadcasting the pledge of allegiance and morning prayer, CMTV also arranges humorous skits and facilitates special announcements from school leadership.
Catholic Memorial's Junior Classical League, or Latin Club, is always represented at the Massachusetts State Convention, where many CM students win prizes. It published Equites, a seasonal newspaper detailing the club's events and achievements.
The Catholic Memorial Drama Club, known in the 1960s as the Genesians and later as the Catholic Memorial Players, put on two shows a year. In the past, one play in autumn was performed annually, but later, the Drama Club added a spring musical. The following is a list of some past performances:
Catholic Memorial offers multiple honor societies, ranging from individual subjects to the National Honor Society. The following is a list of active honor societies:
At Catholic Memorial, nearly every student participates in "forensics", or speech and debate, at one point in his academic career. CM faculty teach students to public speaking through various classroom activities; in the Speech and Debate club students perform and compete interscholastically as they recite speeches, dramatic acts and original oratory. Since 1961 the school's Speech and Debate program has produced over twenty-five state and three national champions. The 2010 team won the "Founder's Award" at Nationals.
Run by Mrs. Couglin and President Brendan Cogavin
Jim Carey – professional ice hockey player
Daniel F. Conley – Suffolk County District Attorney
Robert Consalvo – Boston City councilor
Ted Donato – professional ice hockey player and coach
Brian J. Donnelly – former U.S. Congressman and Ambassador
Allen Doyle – professional golfer
Jim Fahey – professional ice hockey player
Skip Lockwood – professional baseball player
William Martin – author
Mike McColgan – singer, Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs
Joey McIntyre – singer, New Kids on the Block
Chris Nilan – professional ice hockey player
Jack Parker – college ice hockey coach
John H. Rogers – Massachusetts State Representative, Majority Leader
Michael F. Rush – Massachusetts State Senator
Paul Stanton – professional ice hockey player and coach
John Tobin – Boston City councilor
Brennan Williams – professional football player
Chris O'Sullivan – professional ice hockey player
- Br. Joseph G. McKenna, CFC (1957–1963)
- Br. Daniel B. McIllmurray, CFC (1963–1968)
- Br. Arthur E. Newman, CFC (1968–1969)
- Br. William V. Dennehy, CFC (1969–1971)
- Br. William S. Henry, CFC (1971–1975)
- Br. William B. Dobbins, CFC (1975–1981)
- Br. James C. Timoney, CFC (1981–1987)
- Br. E. John Sheehan, CFC (1987–1993)
- Br. John B. Flaherty, CFC '64 (1993–1999)
- Br. James J. MacDonald, CFC '75 (1999–2008)
- Paul E. Sheff '62, (2008–2014)
- Peter F. Folan, Ph.D (2014– )