WARWICK — More than 60 years ago, a priest with a vision, Bishop Russell J. McVinney, visited the Morris family home in Warwick, to share his desire to build an all-boy Catholic high school on the Morris farm property. Mr. and Mrs. Morris without hesitation, gave him permission to take whatever property he needed.
In 1959 Bishop McVinney’s dream came to fruition when Bishop Hendricken High School opened its doors on 34 acres of the Morris’s farmland on Warwick Avenue to some 350 students. In the sixty years that have passed, and per its mission, the school has “developed the hearts, minds, bodies, and souls” of over 12,000 young men.
Bishop McVinney’s humble vision has become the premiere all-boy Catholic high school in Rhode Island possessing nine consecutive United States Academic Decathlon RI state championships, including three top three national finishes and a national championship in 2017. The Hendricken Hawks also own 221 Rhode Island varsity athletic state championships, more than any other public or private school in the past thirty years, as well as countless awards in drama, instrumental, voice, media and visual arts.
Bishop Hendricken welcomed students to a new school year for the 60th time with plans to celebrate its legacy beginning with special events. On Sept. 9, the high school community celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding with a Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin and many priests from the Diocese of Providence. Father Timothy Deely, former Hendricken theology teacher and recently ordained priest, served as homilist. Distinguished guests included the Morris family, the Cardi family, and members of the school’s Board of Directors.
The 60th Anniversary homecoming alumni tailgate party and football game against LaSalle Academy, will be held Friday, October 4, at Hendricken’s Alumni Pavilion and Hayden Stadium. Tailgate begins at 6 p.m. with the game at 7 p.m. The event will include more than 20 food trucks and a fireworks show after the game. The public is welcome to attend the game and fireworks presentation.