In 1932 work began on the "Boys' Catholic High School" on Highland Avenue in Malden, near the Immaculate Conception School. The project was established by Richard Neagle, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden, Massachusetts. The school opened in 1936, with Brother Gilbert as headmaster. The school educated boys from Malden and greater Boston cities and towns such as Somerville, Medford, Melrose, Charlestown and Everett. The school competed in football (playing home games at Brother Gilbert Stadium), hockey and other sports.
The school closed in 1968, having had seven headmasters. After 1968 the building became a junior high school for the Immaculate Conception School. The lab classrooms were used by Girls Catholic High School, (the sister school to Boys' Catholic) until 1992, when that school closed. While both schools were open, because of their close proximity, and conservative administration, the boys were released from school earlier than the girls so they would not converge in the neighborhood at the same time. Immaculate Conception School closed its doors in 2006 after 125 years.
After the school closed, Richard Cushing, Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, requested that it be re-established. The Xaverian Brothers created a much larger, more regional high school on Crystal Street. The new two-storey building included 30 classrooms, an auditorium, and a gymnasium. The Archdiocese provided the funds to build the new complex, originally as a loan, but later made a gift by Cardinal Cushing.
In January 1999 U.S. News & World Report profiled the school in its examination of 96 "Outstanding American High Schools". The school's first lay headmaster, Thomas Arria, Jr., took over in 2005.
In the early 21st century renovation was started on the Crystal Street complex, and a new sports field and cafeteria completed.
Malden Catholic High School is sponsored by the Congregation of St. Francis Xavier, known more commonly as the Xaverian Brothers. For many years the Brothers formed a large part of its faculty, later supplanted by primarily lay people, but the school continued to have the highest number of Xaverian Brothers of any school on the US East Coast.
Students take four years of Catholic theology, courses and take part in many forms of charity drive and Christian service.
Students are required to perform a minimum number of hours of "Christian service", volunteer community service, each year. Freshmen must perform at least 10 hours, sophomores are to perform at least 20, and juniors are to perform at least 30.
Seniors take part in a Christian service program at the end of the year. Senior classes end in mid-April, and for three weeks thereafter seniors are required to visit a designated service site to do volunteer work for about six hours per day, for a total of 90 hours. The stated goal of this project is to give students experience and practice using Christian principles of mutual service outside school.
Malden Catholic is a Division 1 member of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). It is a member of the highly competitive Catholic Conference, a five-school athletics league, alongside competitors St. John's Preparatory School, Boston College High School, Xaverian Brothers High School, and Catholic Memorial School. St. John's is an occasional sixth team in some sports. The school colors are blue and [gold, and the team mascot is the Lancer.
Malden Catholic students have a long-standing rivalry with St. John's Prep and a rivalry with Xaverian is increasing.
Malden Catholic's main athletic facility was opened in 1988 as Brother Gilbert Stadium and was set with natural grass. The stadium was constructed so that Malden Catholic teams would no longer have to use the public Roosevelt Park, down the street and off campus. It was found that the stadium could not grow grass well and, after a decade or so, it needed heavy repairs.
Following the 2002 football season, the school received a $1,000,000 donation to completely renovate the stadium from James Donovan, a Natick resident. Four other alumni together donated an additional $800,000 toward the project, and reconstruction began.
The natural grass in the field was replaced with FieldTurf, and a new track and lighting system was added. In 2004 the field was reopened as Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium, with the new track reopened as Brother Myles MacManus Track. The field was named in memory of Donovan's father, James R. Donovan, a Malden Catholic alumnus who later worked as a custodian at the school.
Malden Catholic High School maintains many clubs and extracurricular activities, each moderated by a member of the faculty.
Student members of the Chess Club play against the other schools in the North Shore Interscholastic Chess League. In the 2012-2013 season, Malden Catholic was first in its division. They were runner-up in the NSICL championship, and won the blitz tournament.
Malden Catholic has a Student Council which organizes many of the school's events and charity drives. The council consists of an executive board of six officers and seven committee chairs.
The Crystal 99, Malden Catholic's official newspaper, is a student-written and run publication founded in 1943 that has received many regional awards, including 11 straight all-New England awards from the New England Scholastic Press Association.
Malden Catholic maintains a chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS), a national organization designed to recognize students' academic achievements. Malden Catholic's chapter, known as the Brother Gilbert Chapter, as of 2017 had 52 tenth grade sophomores, 43 juniors and 41 seniors. The chapter is open to all juniors and seniors who either have a percentage grade of 88 or higher, or who are in the top 15 percent of their class.
The Math Team meets six times each year to compete in the New England Mathematics League (NEML), the New England division of the Math League. Math League contests consist of six challenging mathematics problems. Students are given a grade from 0 to 6. The top five scores from each school are submitted to the Math League, with a maximum of 30 points per contest. There are six contests a year, with a maximum school score of 180.
In addition to the NEML contests, students take part in a parallel intramural tournament, the Lancers Intramural Mathematics Organization (LIMO). These contests are similar to NEML's, and take place in between the national contests. LIMO contests consist of an Individual Round, in which students score between 0 and 6, and a Team Round, in which students split into groups to work on problems together, with a maximum score of 3.
The Robotics Club was founded by Patrick Napier, along with the help of Patrick Devito, both of the graduating class of 2006. Dennis Gleason of the mathematics department is the moderator of the club. In the contest, students build a team of robots that enter the international BotBall competition. The New England Regional Tournament is held annually at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. In 2006, students won first place for the Documentation part of the judging for the New England Division. In 2008, the MC Robotics team was the winner of the New England Regional Botball Tournament. They finished first in the seeding round, second in double-elimination, and third in documentation. These scores were good enough to win the overall championship. They also received a judges' choice award. The team performed admirably at the International championships at the University of Oklahoma, again winning a judges' choice award. In the 2008-2009 season, the Malden Catholic Robotics Team again won the New England Regional Tournament, sweeping all three categories of seeding, double elimination, and documentation. At the 2009 Global Conference on Educational Robotics, Malden Catholic placed third in the world.
Malden Catholic's Model UN Club began in the early 1990s to increase awareness of the United Nations system, international relations, as well as foster debate, diplomacy and understanding of different peoples and cultures. In that time MC Delegates have participated in numerous Model UN simulations throughout New England, including conferences at Harvard and Brown Universities, Bentley College, and other conferences hosted by area high schools.
Malden Catholic's MUN Club has also hosted several Malden Catholic Model United Nations Conferences (MCMUNC) throughout the years, for other MUN Clubs throughout Massachusetts and New England.Joe Coleman (Class of '40), former Major League Baseball player
Mike Fidler, former National Hockey League player
Jack Hughes, former National Hockey League player
Ed Markey, (Class of '64) United States Senator
Colin McManus, professional ice dancer
John Pinette, comedian
Luke Verge, winner of MTV's Bromance
Francis Ricciardone, United States Ambassador to Turkey
Keith Tkachuk (Class of '90), former National Hockey League player
Dana Rosenblatt, former professional boxer
Gerard F. Doherty, Former Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and a campaign manager for Robert F. Kennedy
Jonathan Cheever, Professional Snowboarder
Eugene Fama - 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics