Holy Cross School is a high school, middle school, and primary school serving grades pre-k -12 founded in 1849 by the Congregation of Holy Cross in New Orleans, Louisiana. The main founder of Holy Cross is Blessed Father Basil Moreau, who was beatified on September 15, 2007. Holy Cross High was originally named St. Isidore’s College. Holy Cross School is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans.
In 1849 the Brothers, Priests and Sisters of Holy Cross arrived in New Orleans after they had established the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and took over an orphanage for the boys and girls who survived a plague. The orphanage, along with the first Ursuline School for Girls (the oldest Catholic School in America), was destroyed to make room for the 1923 Industrial Canal, which experienced levee failures that flooded large parts of New Orleans twice, with Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In 1871, Holy Cross moved to its historic site, which then was a farm named St. Isidore’s farm, on 4950 Dauphine Street, and built a renowned “collegiate-styled campus” and established in 1879 its current school, bordered by the high Mississippi River levee. The area has since become a Federal Historic District known as the “Holy Cross Historic District.”
First chartered by the State of Louisiana in 1890, the name was changed to Holy Cross in 1895 when the present Administration Building was dedicated. A boarding program, which continued until 1973, attracted as many as 150 students annually from across the South as well as from Central and South America.
Prior to 2015 Holy Cross had grades 5-12. The archdiocese began requiring schools to fit one of three grade configurations (PK-7, 8-12, or PK-12) in order to continue affiliation, and Holy Cross needed to change its grade configuration. The school administration decided for the school to become K-12.
With Hurricane Katrina, the campus, like the majority of the city, was flooded by the Levee failures on the Industrial Canal and levee “over-topped” by storm surge along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) that destroyed St. Bernard Parish and Eastern New Orleans and Greater New Orleans in August 2005. The school has relocated to 5500 Paris Avenue, the campuses of the former St. Francis Cabrini Parish and Redeemer-Seton High School on Paris Avenue between Filmore and Prentiss Avenue in the Gentilly/7th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. Demolition of the various structures which once stood has been completed. This is one of the many steps in the construction of the new location which is now Holy Cross High School. The state of the art high school, middle school, and administration building have been completed.
The Advisory Committee of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries informed Holy Cross School that it has been chosen to receive a $50,000 grant to purchase books for the school’s library. She attended Holy Cross on Thursday, April 19, 2007 to present the 14 grantees in Mississippi and Louisiana, including Holy Cross, with the donation.