Classes underway at Frassati Catholic High School

September 10, 2013

SPRING — Frassati Catholic High School, the first and only Catholic high school in north Houston, opened to its founding freshman class on Aug. 22. 

The historic day began with a Mass in honor of the blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz with several priests and deacons from parishes in the region in attendance, including Father Thomas Rafferty from St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Father Pat Garrett from Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, Father Thomas Hopper from St. Anne Catholic Church in Tomball, Monsignor Chester Borski from St. Martha Catholic Church, Father Michael Carmody from St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Father Scott Reilly and Father John Devlin from Northwoods Catholic School, Deacon Pat Hancock from Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church and Deacon Joe Mignogna from Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church.

The Mass was attended by the 46 incoming freshmen and their parents, current and former board members, representatives of Tellepsen Builders, Jackson and Ryan Architects, and the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools, as well as the founding faculty and staff. 

In addition to the Mass, the celebration also included the blessing of the building and a reception. 

“Today is a day of thanksgiving and celebration — first and foremost we express our gratitude to God and what He has done through the work of His willing and faithful instruments. The only appropriate response to God’s goodness to us is to praise and thank Him — which is precisely what we will do in this Mass,” said Sister John Paul, principal of the new high school, during her comments before the start of Mass.

Frassati Catholic High School, located on a 63-acre campus just off Spring Stuebner Road, three miles west of Interstate 45, opened after several years of preparation and capital campaign efforts. The high school is situated in a region with 15 parishes and seven Catholic elementary schools serving approximately 2,400 students. Until now, however, there had been no Catholic high school in the area. 

In 2007, the North Houston Catholic High School (NHCHS) committee was revitalized and a permanent organizational structure established. The high school is owned and operated by a board of trustees and administered by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation. In 2011, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo named NHCHS Frassati Catholic High School, after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a lay Dominican (1901 – 1925).

The congregation sent three sisters to Houston to plan the educational program and implement the administrative structure the same year. Since then, they have been joined by 12 additional founding faculty and staff members who will help fulfill the high school’s mission. 

Volleyball competitions, cross country training, instrumental ensemble rehearsals and student ambassador recruitment are also already underway.

Beverly Kloesel, the mother of freshman Johanna Kloesel, said, “Please pray that God will continue to guide and bless this project, and that the faculty and students embarking on this new journey will strive to uphold the ideals of their patron, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, in all their endeavors.”

The campus will be completed using a phased approach and ultimately the total capacity of the campus will be 800 to 1,000 students. Phase 1A, now complete, includes the initial building with classroom space for up to 130 students and two science labs, as well as the first chapel, library/seminar space, assembly hall and administrative offices. 

Two athletic fields have been leveled and planted. These facilities will sustain Frassati Catholic for at least two years. Agreements are in place to utilize area sports facilities while the campus’ athletic facilities are under development. The A Foundation for the Future Capital Campaign is now raising $15 million for Phase 1B construction, slated to begin in the summer of 2014. This phase will include a gymnasium and additional academic space.