Chicago Cathedral Catholic HS “Pirates”

Cathedral High School
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courtesy of “A History of the Offices, Agencies, & Institutions of the Archdiocese of Chicago”

                         The History of Chicago Cathedral High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers are the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the “Windy City.” From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to become the nation’s third largest city.

The history of Cathedral High School started as Holy Name Cathedral High School in downtown Chicago on North State Street in 1937 as a co-ed institution. It was opened by Monsignor Joseph Morrison, who was the rector of the namesake Cathedral, as one of six co-ed schools opened at George Cardinal Mundelein’s request.

We do know that the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as the priests that were assigned to the Cathedral were on the faculty. Following the death of Cardinal Mundelein, the school was renamed Mundelein Cathedral High School in 1939, but later shortened to Cathedral at a later date which has not been found. Due to a small enrollment and perhaps increasing operating costs, Cathedral High School closed her doors in 1994.

Cathedral High School was primarily a smaller-sized Catholic HS. Any further insight you can offer regarding Cathedral High School would be greatly appreciated and shared on this page.

An anonymous source offered this information on the history of the school:

“The name Mundelein Cathedral High School, remained until 1959, when they built a new school, and renamed it Cathedral High School. The school colors were blue & white. They also changed the school song, from “Mundelein the School we love the best”, to “Cathedral High”.”

The building that housed the school is still used today. According to the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Cardinal Bernadin Archives and Research Center’s Julie Satzik, it is one of the locations for Frances Xavier Warde School, which is run by Old St. Patrick’s Parish in Chicago.

Chicago Cathedral High School Quick Facts

Year opened as Holy Name Cathedral HS:   1937

Renamed Mundelein Cathedral HS:             1939

Renamed simply Cathedral High School:     1959

Year closed:                                              1994

School team nickname:                              the “Pirates”

School team colors:                                   Blue & White

School Fight Song:                                    “Mundelein, The School We Love Best”

“Cathedral High”


The Cathedral High School “Pirates” competed in both boys’ and girls’ athletics.  Information found about the athletic program ( is, in turn, listed below. We are seeking verification of the school fight song. Also needed are season records and coach’s names of the sports competed in at CHS.


The boys’ basketball program did not win any IHSA hardware in the always tough Chicago area. However, there were some highlights listed in the record books of the IHSA website.

Two highlights in school history in a very short amount of time

Cathedral (coached by Tom Shields) 149, St. Mary of Perpetual Help 25 (1/28/1979)

John Battle scored 85 points (33 FG, 19/25 FT), which is the second highest total for points scored by a player in IHSA single-game history, even though he missed part of 1st quarter). Cathedral had 65 FGs, scored 77 pts in first half, and 72 in second (all these facts are listed in the IHSA record book).

Cathedral 135, Evanston Roycemore 28 (1/31/1979)

John Battle had 91 pts (45/62 FG, 1/3 FT), which is the most points scored in IHSA single-game history by a player. Cathedral had 64 FG.

The Cathedral Pirates went on to post a 14-11 record that season under Coach Shields, who would later lead Providence-St. Mel to a Class A state title in 1985, and also took Hales Franciscan to the Class A title game in 1993.


One male trackster brought home some IHSA hardware from the Class A State Track Meet.

1981A   Stanley Evans              100-meter dash—3rd place


Only two items were discovered on the IHSA website regarding the girls’ basketball program. Both were for the “not so good” reason of keeping records of this sort.

12/11/1987 132-point margin by East St. Louis Lincoln (134) vs. Cathedral (2). 68 points came in the 2nd half, which was the fourth largest scoring margin (132) in IHSA single-game history.

11/24/1987 East St. Louis Lincoln (79) vs. Cathedral (0), the third largest shutout margin in IHSA history


The lady netters had some solid seasons recorded on the IHSA website.  These seasons are listed below.

1984   6-12     Coach Duane Martin

1985 10-10     Coach Cheryl Hill

1986   2-16     Coach Barbara Rigney

1987   0-10     Coach Cheryl Hill


The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competetive high school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. Cathedral High school participated in this festival in their final year of operation, 1994.


From Renee Jackson:

“I am a graduate of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School located in Chicago. I graduated in 1983 and ended up going to Cathedral High School. I can tell you I have some wonderful memories of both schools. I can recall masses taking place all the time or what appeared to be all the time. I recall the nuns and priest who taught me at both schools RSMs at OLMC and BVMs at Cathedral. Can you believe I am still in contact with two of the nuns who taught me at Cathedral? I am still in contact with my favorite teacher of all time, Ms. Murphy who taught me at OLMC.

I remember wearing uniforms at OLMC and being a patrol guard..that was the thing to be! I still attend mass at OLMC and I am a Eucharistic Minister and Lector as well. When I stand up in front of the congregation, it always takes me back to the good ole days. I picture myself looking at my former teachers and classmates.”

Seeking Your Assistance

If you have ANY further information about Chicago Cathedral Catholic High School, please share it with us. Photos and information can be e-mailed to us at You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631

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