Posted by: newenglandarchivist | August 15, 2013

South Boston Schools

Cornerstone ceremony for CCCH
Photo from the laying of the cornerstone for the new Archbishop Cushing Central High School in South Boston.

One of the fun things about being an archivist–at least for me–is going through the old photos. This one was taken in 1952 at the ceremony to lay the new cornerstone for Archbishop Central High School. Richard Cushing was Archbishop from 1944 to 1958. When he was elevated to Cardinal, the school also changed its name and became CCCH.

Long before it was Cushing High, it had been called Saints Peter and Paul High School. The school opened in 1860 and had many successful years. But the Depression hit the school hard and it had to close in 1937. In 1942, Sister Eleanor Joseph Delaney (sitting on the left of Archbishop Cushing) announced the school would reopen. It did and became Cushing High.

Also seen in the picture is the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Sister Josepha de Francois, sitting on the right of Cushing. Standing behind Sister Eleanor Joseph and Mother Josepha de Francois are [from left to right]: Sr. Therese Marguerite, Sr. Loretto Julia [later Mother Superior of the SNDs], Sr. Angelita of the Sacred Heart, Sister Ursula Marie and Sister Agnes Stanislaus.

The Sister in back on the far right is unidentified. If anyone recognizes her, please let me know!


  1. I graduted from St. Peter and Pauls grammer in 1945. there were times we had to sit in school in the winter with our jackets and gloves on but we did learn. 90% of the sisters were good techers and kind women, the other 10 should have never joined the convent let alone be teachers. but I understand today that for some women they didnt have a choice. It was the convent or marry or the telephone company.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. The Sisters received little financial support from the parishes in those days, so it’s no surprise the classrooms were freezing. I’m glad that most of your memories were good.

  2. Re last email: was it named St. Peter and Paul HS in 1948?

    • No, That school closed in the late 1930s and reopened in the early 1940s, and became Archbishop Cushing High School and later Cardinal Cushing High School.

  3. I graduated from ACCH in 1956 went on to Emmanuel, class of 60 and then on to Catholic University in DC department of Speech and Drama. Good years at all schools and speeches coaches and teachers who did well by me…

    • That’s always wonderful to hear. I’m glad for you.

  4. Wondering if there are any yearbooks available online. My mother-in-law attended in the 50’s.

    • The only ones I have in the archives for South Boston are uploaded onto the website. Just click on Yearbooks, a drop down menu will appear. Click on South Boston. Good luck.

  5. I am writing because I had two Sisters who taught me at Cardinal Cushing Central High who had a lasting impact on me throughout my life. I heard that one of them lives close to me now. Her name is Sr. Mary Mulligan (Sr. Anna Marie). She went on to direct the Notre Dame Education Center is South Boston and now I believe she may be retired and living close by. I would love to get in touch with her and let her know how much she has influenced me.
    The other is Sr. Suzanne (Sr. Mary Paul). I feel the same about Sr. Suzanne as I have said about Sr. Mary Mulligan. I would also like to write her a letter as well. I am in my 70’s now so I am not sure if they are still alive but they were young when the were my teachers.

    • Hi Janet, I will answer your request through my work email.

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