Essex Catholic High School Responses

by Newark Talk Collective


Rich Olohan:
Danny, Wow, I missed the notice about ECHS closing. Saddens me very much to hear that our Essex will be no more. Though the move from Broadway was disheartening, the final closing of Essex is, well, tearful to me. I graduated Class of '73, both of my brothers graduated from Essex as well, Class of '70 and Class of '76 .Many friends are alumni. Many times I've told my children about that grand building on Broadway and how I still cherish the memories of ECHS. Rich Olohan

Pat (Miceli) Haderthauer:
Sad to hear the news about Essex Catholic. My husband graduated from there in 1966, my brother Greg attended for a year before going to Vailsburg and we all had many friends from EC. I went to Archbishop Walsh in Irvington but was a regular at ECHS dances. They were the greatest! What a place that ballroom was. Who could be happy at a dance in a gym after attending one at EC.

Jule Spohn:
I too saw the article in the Star Ledger and felt a loss also. Even though I didn't go to Essex Catholic I have somewhat of a small connection to it. Many of my friends went there back in the late 50's/60's. I went to St. James down neck. We were a small school but had one heck of a basketball team throughout that period. We played many games against Essex Catholic. As a matter of fact I still have all of the newspaper clippings of the 1960 games. Here is the one for January 10, 1960: ESSEX CATHOLIC TOPS ST. JAMES. Essex Catholic High clung to a slim early lead and defeated St. James 48-45 yesterday at Essex Catholic's gym in Newark. Some of you might know some of the players: For Essex Catholic: Lacara, Delmauro, Lynch, McNish, McGinley, and Couzzo. For St. James: Joe McKenna, Joe Alves, Joe Paolella, Jack Gaven, and Matt Dillon.

The old building is still beautiful. Today it is a nursing home and the local neighborhood group holds it's monthly meeting in one of the rooms on the ground floor. The building is well preserved and taken care of.

I live right around the corner from it on Van Wagenen Street and pass it several times a week. It reminds one of an old Greek or Roman Temple - in many ways it was a Temple - a Temple of learning - and what a wonderful group of men came out of it. Congratulations to you all.

Joan Niven:
There is another write up in todays Star Ledger about Essex Catholic Closing..Pictures of students protesting the decision.

Rich Olohan:
Danny, I just looked up Marty's picture in my yearbook. I remember him, of course it has been 30 years already since we graduated! I believe we were in some classes together. Rich

Charles McGrath:
Essex Catholic High School

It is too bad that Essex Catholic is closing. The sad thing is that many parents do not realize the difference between the standards of education in public high school versus catholic high school.

My daughter is sending her chidden to Morris Catholic in Denville, N.J.
The tuition is approximately $8,500.00/ year. This cost is a major deterrent for many parents ,but believe me, the educational development from secondary education is more important than from college level.

One of my daughters children attends Saint Cecelia's Grammar School in Rockaway, N.J. Yesterday her class visited Sacred Heart School in Vailsburg (Newark). In the 1960's it was the largest catholic school in New Jersey with an enrollment od 1,600 students. Yesterday the enrollment was approximately 700 students. The majority being "Non Catholic". Doesn't that tell you something?

When I graduated from Saint Benedict's Prep in 1954 we had our graduation in the auditorium of the Mutual Benefit Insurance
Company Building. It's president at that time was a graduate of Saint Benedict's Prep. And that was also probably why he eventually sold it to the Archdiocese of Newark.

Three of my five daughters graduated from East Orange Catholic High School which Essex Catholic replaced 20 years ago.It's a sad day when quality education is lost because it isn't recognized.

Rich Olohan:
Charles, Well said. All 3 of my children have attended, or are currently attending Catholic School. Yes, the choice is a financial hurdle, many sacrifices are made to pay tuitions but I believe the end result is a better educated child.

Mary Ellen Howley:
Sorry to hear about Essex Catholic closing. While it wasn't there long when I left Newark in 1960, I remember it well being the Mutual
Benefit Life Ins co. Had my dance recitels there and ran up and down the steps many times just for fun. I too sent my youngest kids to the Catholic schools, here in Pa, and the education they got was worth the sacrifice.

The older ones went to the public schools but at a more nicer time. These days you don't have much of a choice. I went to St Michaels and never realized just how well educated we were. Bless those nuns, even though half the time we were getting knocked on the head with a pointer and hit on the knuckles for just about everything! We all survived and made it in life...of the good old days!


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: