CGHS History

History

Cardinal Gracias High School has a cherished history and it is one of the most prestigious institutions of both the Norbertine Canonry of Jamtara and the Norbertine Dependent House in Bandra East, Mumbai

CARDINAL GRACIASCardinal Gracias

In the beginning it was all a marshy swamp, barring a few chawls and hutments close to the Bandra Station. On the Eastern side, there was no human life. Then, the Maharashtra Board put up some tenements in the area presently known as Khernagar. In them came to live some catholic families. They had to go to Bandra West for both religious and scholastic activities. Somehow they managed to invite a priest on Sundays to say mass and with this worship donned the idea of starting a school at least for the toddlers. And that is the beginning of what is today called the ‘Cardinal School’.

Foreseeing the rapid development of the area, His Eminence Valerian Cardinal Gracias issued a decree carving out a new parish for Bandra East, on May 1st, 1960 and named it as St. Joseph The Worker Parish. Rev. Fr. Macario Pereira was appointed as the first Parish Priest.

The late Msgr. Macario Pereira is the priest who took interest in the welfare of the children of Kherwadi and Khernagar and with the help of the residents put up a shed with a corrugated tin roof. Two teachers were loaned by the Mount Mary Convent, Bandra, and it was all a makeshift arrangement.

 

  • Fr. Pereira a noted educationist started a K.G. Class with 100 students on June 12th 1961 in a pandal Church cum School with some internal adjustments to suit the needs of   class rooms. The school was named Valerian Cardinal Gracias Primary School. Its teaching staff comprised of two sisters from Mount Mary’s Convent, Bandra  West, who later joined by qualified lay teachers.
  • In June 1962 the First standard of the Primary School was started. The total students were then 263.
  • In 1963, the school was shifted to the present plot was purchased by Msgr. Pereira with the help of the late Cardinal Valerian Gracias, then Archbishop of Bombay. Most rightly Valerian Cardinal Gracias described as ‘The Greatest Ambassador of Goodwill’, India has ever sent abroad. By then, more housing colony had cropped up, the highway was constructed and the area was slowly acquiring the status of a township
  • In 1963 the second standard of the Primary School was opened and the strength of the school was 400.The shed which was also used as church was expanded to house six class rooms. The school was renamed as “Cardinal Gracias School
  • In 1964 Very Rev. Fr. R. Rooymans, O. Praem the Prior of the St. Norbert Priory, Jamtara, Jabalpur came to Bombay to request the Cardinal to entrust a new Parish to the Norbertine Fathers
  • The Cardinal Gracias Primary School received recognition in July 1965.
  • The Secondary section of the school started in June 1966 and also received recognition from the Educational Department. Thus Cardinal Gracias High School came into being.
  • Though old, Msgr. Pereira kept on adding a higher standard year after year. He acquired recognition for the school in 1966 when it had Std. I to V.
  • The Secondary section of the school started in June 1966 and also received recognition from the Educational Department. Thus Cardinal Gracias High School came into being.
  • In April 1966 came Fr. J. Lamers, O. Praem from Nagpur and Fr. A. Prakash, O. Praem from Jabalpur. Fr. Lamers resided at Mt. Carmel’s Church and Fr. Prakash in Vakola Parish. In November 1966 Fr. J. Lamers, O. Praem was appointed as local Superior of the Norbertines in Mumbai and Manager of Cardinal Gracias High School. Fr. A. Prakash, O. Praem  was appointed first Norbertine  Principal of the School.
  • The Cardinal invited the Norbertine Father of The Abbey of Berne, Holland, to take over the school as well as the ministerial activities.
  • On 1st May 1967 – feast of St. Joseph the worker – the Parish was officially handed over to the Norbertine Fathers. Fr. Luke F. Van Helvert was appointed first Norbertine Parish Priest, and Fr. J. Lamers was appointed as assistant Parish Priest.
  • In January 1967 a school building committee was formed and started functioning. On 26th January 1967 Abbot A. Hazelager, O. Praem of the Abbey of Berne, Holland, blessed the foundation stone of the school building.
  • Two Dutch missionaries, the late Fr.J. Lamers o. praem., and Fr. Luke Van Helvert o. praem stepped in and within a year started to constructed the school building.
  • The building was inaugurated in 1967 and the school had a Norbertine Priest Fr. A. S.Prakash o. praem as Principal. He was who aimed at setting high standards both in education and discipline.
  • The first batch of students appeared for the SSC examination in 1973 and came out with a sterling performance ie. 100 % Pass. That was the goal set by Fr. Prakash who came who saw and who conquered. The first Head Boy and Head Girl of this great institution were Mr.Dhananjay More and Ms VidyaKokate. The school has since maintained a high standard of teaching, learning, discipline and character formation. As a result every year SSC results have been excellent.
  • Gradually it was possible to have more Norbertine priests on the scene when a monastery was constructed. Among them was another energetic priest, Fr. Richard Bent o.praem to manage the entire church and school complex.
  • Fr. Prakash was replaced by Fr. Samuel Kavil from Bhopal. In continuation of the high standards set by Fr. Prakash, the new principal added a new quality to the school—Love for Humanity. He established the Social Service branch which is affiliated to the Junior Red Cross Association.
  • The year 1978 welcomed Fr. Anthony Vijay Jones o. praem popularly known as Fr. Vijay as the Principal. His deep knowledge of school work and his interest in students went a long way in helping the school to progress. The development of the school will not be complete without mentioning the revival of the PTA which was started by Fr. Samuel in 1982 with fresh vigour by Fr. Vijay.
  • The Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery have played an important role in guiding the Primary and Secondary Section.
  • In 1983 we had Fr. Franklin Mathais o. praem as Manager who gave us utmost co-operation and encouragement.
  • In 1984 the school had an energetic and dynamic young principal Fr Rocky D’souza o. praem. He introduced the school newsletter – ‘GRACIANA’ which served as an effective medium of communication monitoring the progress made by staff and students.
  • The school celebrated the Silver Jubilee in December 1986 under his able leadership. It was a thumping success.
  • Rev. Sr Catherine Laboure, Ms M. Patil, Mr. R. Gupta, Mr. Koman and Ms Grace Colaco, Ms. Mariann Misquitta were the Vice Principals, who guided and drove home the fact that – one cannot climb the ladder of success with their hands in their pockets.
  • 1n 1993-94, Fr. Albert Xalco o. praem took over as Principal of the Primary and Secondary Section.
  • In 2002-2003, Fr. Rocky D’souza was the Principal for the second time. Our school got cent per cent results in the SSC Board Exams 2003.
  • In 2003-04, Fr. Arul Amalraj came in as the Principal. He played a major role giving the school infrastructure a facelift. For him, every child was lovable capable and acceptable.
  • In Oct 2009, Fr. Rocky D’souza was the Principal for the third time. We are indeed fortunate to celebrate our Golden Jubilee under his expertise.
  • 2010-2011 saw the celebration of the GOLDEN JUBILEE with the meaningful theme-
  • IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS’ beautifully coined byRt.Rev. Abbot Rock D’souza o. praem
  • On October 13, 2010, the Gracian Alumni Association (GAA) was established to foster, build and cherish a life-long relationship between alumni and the school to promote a true spirit of loyalty, trust, cordiality and love for their alma mater.
  • The Golden Jubilee of CGHS was celebrated with great zeal, gusto and enthusiasm on December 18 and 19, 2010 with ‘A Festival of Music & Dance’.
  • The Chief Guest for December 18, 2010 was Rt. Rev. Abbot Benzes Thomas o. praem, St Norbert Abbey, Jamtara, Jabalpur. All the staffers were honored with mementos.
  • At present we have 5000 students in the pre- primary, primary and secondary and 152 staff members.
  • We intend to upgrade the School Infrastructure that would enable local residents to be well educated, better qualified and equipped to take on modern life challenges. We need to make “dreams come true” through an upgraded School Library System with collection of books and an English Laboratory, Concretization of ground in front of school building to prevent water logging, Scholarships and Fees for needy and deserving  students.
  • From the days of the marshy swamp, we have come a long way. As we enjoy now the fruits of the sweat, toil and blood of our predecessors, the best debt of gratitude we can render to them is to strive hard and keep the standard of the school flying higher and higher by our sense of diligence, discipline and academic and co-academic excellence.
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