The Most Reverend Dr. Michael Browne, Bishop of Galway, visited Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California in the spring of 1948. Msgr. Nicholas Conneally was pastor of Santa Monica parish. He was not satisfied with the way the parish schools had been run, and asked the Bishop for help. Bishop Brown, knowing the great work the Patrician Brothers had done in Galway, immediately recommended them to the pastor. The Bishop wrote to the Superior General Finbar Downes requesting the Brothers administer St. Monica High School.
Irish Independent, Friday, August 20, 1948.
St. Monica’s High School – Santa Monica (1948-1977)
The Brothers had to obtain visas from the American Legation at Merrion Square in Dublin. They were interviewed by the American vice Consul and presented their visas. On August 21, 1948, they left Cobh on board the SS Washington and arrived in New York on August 27th. After spending a few days in the rectory of St. Matthew’s Church, they left by train for Los Angeles on August 31st. The heat was oppressive and the Brothers finally arrived in Los Angeles on September 3rd. They were met by Msgr. Connelly and Father Fogarty, pastor of St. Brendan’s and Father Michael O’Callaghan. Both priests had been students of the Patricians in Ireland.
The Brothers started teaching at St. Monica’s High School on Monday, September 13, 1948.
A new building was opened in September 1958 with an enrollment of 400 boys. Brother Evaristus was Dean of Boys and Brother Romuald was Athletic Director. Brother Aquinas organized the California Scholastic Federation for the school.
In 1977, the Brothers long association with the school came to an end.
St. Bernard High School – Westchester (1958-1961)
Southern California experienced unprecedented growth during the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Over 60,000 people per day were making the State their new home. This growth required opening new Catholic elementary and high schools. A new high school was planned for the area surrounding the Los Angeles airport.
Work on St. Bernard’s High School progressed and on September 22, 1958 225 boys and 220 girls started classes in the new building. Cardinal McIntyre requested the Brothers staff a new high school in Glendale, and the Brothers left St. Bernard’s at the end of the 1961 school year.
Pater Noster Community – Los Angeles (1961-1991)
Discussions were held during 1960 and the Diocese Chancery Office suggested the Brothers staff a new all Boys high school being completed in Los Angeles. After much deliberation, it was decided to withdraw from St. Bernard’s and take over the new school. In September 1960, Brother Hilary was transferred as Superior to the new community. The school known as Pater Noster High School was located in a five story building that had been a hosiery factory. This school was closed in 1991.
Mater Dei High School (1953-2005)
Mater Dei High School was established in 1949 as a Diocesan school to serve Orange County. The school was built on a 20 acre sight in Santa Ana and was originally intended as a school to be conducted by the Sisters of Charity.
In 1953, the Brothers were invited to join the faculty of Mater Dei. Brothers Livinus, Ignatius and Thomas ( just arrived from Ireland) pioneered the second foundation in California. The Brothers taught at Mater Dei from 1953 to 2005.
Midway City Novitiate
The Brothers established a Novitiate in Midway City. This six acre facility was started in August 1955. Ground breaking ceremony took place on March 17, 1961 for two classrooms, office, prefects room, infirmary room, library, recreation room, showers and dormitories accommodating 20. The buildings were blessed on October 10, 1961.
The chapel was dedicated by Bishop Manning on February 12, 1966.