RUMSON, NJ – On Sunday, September 10th, members of the Holy Cross School Class of 1957 celebrated their 60th class reunion by gathering for Mass at Holy Cross Church followed by brunch at McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright. The former classmates have maintained a life-long bond of friendship that took root in the Catholic grade school, which marked its 75th anniversary in 2016.
Since 1941, Holy Cross School has been nestled on the banks of the Shrewsbury River, at the foot of the Sea Bright Bridge in Rumson. The original plot of land on which the school was built was sold to Holy Cross Church by Mr. Bernon Prentice, whose estate called “The Corners” bordered the church’s property. Not only did Mr. Prentice sell the land to the church for just $10,000, but he then conveyed the remaining 5.6 acres, including his mansion, to Holy Cross in memory of his good friend and neighbor Fr. John Murray, the then recently-deceased pastor of Holy Cross. The Prentice mansion served Holy Cross School for over 20 years.
Patricia Montamat O’Shea fondly recalls her first day at Holy Cross School. “My family moved to Rumson in November of 1954, and I walked into the new Holy Cross School building on the very first day it opened! Before that day, the classes were held in an old house (the Prentice mansion) near the current soccer field. I felt very special to be there on such a momentous day.” Mrs. O’Shea grew up to marry her husband John in Holy Cross Church and to be the first teacher of Holy Cross Preschool. The O’Sheas sent their three daughters to Holy Cross School, and they are proud grandparents of Shea, now a sophomore at Trinity Hall, and Michael, currently in Grade 7, who followed their grandmother’s footsteps through Holy Cross School.
The warm feelings felt by the group for their Alma Mater are summed up by Julie O’Connor Collart. “For nine months a year, Holy Cross was the center of our learning, our friendships, and the guidance and devotion of the wonderful Sisters of Mercy. Father Sullivan, Father Ewing and Father Petrie were among the priests who guided our spirituality with their wisdom and compassion. There are a thousand memories we could share which have become much of who we are today, but Holy Cross School is and always will be at the core of our essence. Many in our class have stayed very close, and we have been blessed beyond all measure with those friendships that formed then and which continue to flourish up until this very moment. How blessed we are.”
The memories flowing from this group varied but centered on a few key themes: faith, family and friends. Holy Cross Alumni remember fondly those who taught them, who shared with them their faith. They remember their siblings sharing the same unique experience of Catholic education and their parents with gratitude for financing such an education. And they love remembering the time they shared with their lifelong friends in the halls of Holy Cross School.
Holy Cross School, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, is proud of its history and alumni. For those wishing to become involved in the burgeoning Holy Cross Alumni Network, please visit www.holycrossschoolrumson.org or call 732-842-0348, ext 1115.