History of the School

Central Catholic High School, founded by the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross, is a Catholic secondary school, grades 6 through 12, owned and operated by the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. Central Catholic exists to serve primarily the Catholic population in East St. Mary Parish and neighboring communities, as well as others who embrace Christian values and respect our Catholic beliefs. We provide a caring environment in which students are affirmed and encouraged to develop their God-given gifts.

The curriculum includes a college preparatory program that stresses high academic standards, fosters good citizenship, and instills a strong sense of discipline. We complement the development of each student by offering excellent and diverse extracurricular programs. 


In 1893, Reverend Thomas Smith and a group of Catholic women planned a school of the type that would make such essentials as morals, culture, and patriotism  of its component unit. A committee composed of Mesdames John  Dalton, Thomas Shannon and Daniel Lynch were sent to New Orleans to arrange with the Marianites to take change of the proposed school. Reverend Francis J. Janssens, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, granted permission for a Catholic School. On September 4, 1893, school life in Morgan City began with five sisters and an enrollment of fifty students.

On November 17, 1931, a date not to be forgotten, Mr. T.M. Harris, State Superintendent, stated that he was proud to place the Sacred Heart Academy on the list of approved High Schools.

Another step forward was in 1937, the beginning of Kindergarten in the Dalton Memorial Hall. By the year 1938, enrollment had reached 400 students. Though joyful over the school's prosperity, the community grieved when their loved Pastor, Reverend Andrew Souby, died on October 14, 1938, donating to the school his very valuable library.

Sacred Heart Academy continued to grow with the help of Sister Mary of St. Albert, who formed the first band in 1940. During the same year, the eagle mascot was established and blue and gold were chose as school colors.  In the year 1945, The Dalton Memorial became the temporary high school. By the year 1947, the faculty had grown to seventeen Sisters and had an enrollment of 640 students from Kindergarten through eleventh grade. In 1952, the school colors were changed to red and white.



Growth continued through the years. A large step forward was moving into a new school at a new location. The school's name was changed to Sacred Heart High School and it housed grades K-12 on a 17-acre plot of land. The center consisted of a cafetorium, two-story convent, and three elementary school buildings, all connected by covered walks. On October 27, 1957, Archbishop Joseph Rummel dedicated and blessed the new buildings. A Church, rectory, gymnasium and athletic field were to be added later.




By the year 1964, another change occurred. Two elementary schools were formed-- Holy Cross Elementary and Sacred Heart Elementary, with kindergarten through sixth grade in each school. Sacred Heart High School, which now contained seventh through twelfth grade, was changed to Central Catholic High School. In 1971, a new gymnasium was erected. It was later named Sam Siracusa Community Center. In 1977, Central Catholic became a Diocesan High School of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, under the direction of Bishop Warren Boudreaux. On March 18, 1979, Msgr. James Songy led groundbreaking ceremonies for a new addition to the school. This new addition provided more classrooms, science labs, and a new library and student commons. Later in 1981, Central Catholic was approved by the Southern Association, with enrollment over 400 students from seventh through twelfth grades and a faculty and staff of 34 members.


In 1993, a piece of history once though to be long lost was returned to Central Catholic High School in the form of the original school bell. The bell, used by the Marianite Sisters, was refurbished to its original beauty and donated back to the school in observance of 100 years of excellent Catholic education in Morgan City. The bell was mounted near the school entrance. Alumni members of the community purchased engraved bricks surrounding the base of the bell. A Mass and dedication ceremony was attended by the entire community, students, and alumni. Although the bell no longer tolls for students at Central Catholic High School, it shall stand as a constant reminder of the high standards instilled in the lives of so many over the past century and years to come.

In 2013, Central Catholic's campus expanded with the building of new facilities to accommodate the future growth of the school. Through a collaborative capital campaign among Central Catholic, Holy Cross Elementary, and Holy Cross Church Parish, new facilities were built: library, life center, and gymnasium. In keeping with the Mission Statement, to educate the whole child—soul, mind, and body, the new buildings serve to foster growth in all areas. The library includes a forum room for presentations, a wireless projector and screen, and updated library resources. The new gym aids in the accommodation of multiple athletic teams across grade levels for both boys and girls. By building a new gymnasium, the school now has two facilities for students to use. Furthermore, the life center is a gathering place for guest speakers for the student body, as well as retreats.



After over 125 years, Catholic education continues to provide excellent opportunities for student growth in Christian values and attitudes, along with superior academics. Catholic education would not have continued to exist through the years without Priests, Sisters, dedicated faculty, students , parent organizations an community support.