Celebrating Five Years of Holy Cross Prep Academy Thanks To Over Six Decades of Support!
We hope you will join us as we "Honor our Traditions and Pursue our Future" at the
Holy Cross Preparatory Academy
5th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, May 13, 2023
6:00pm to 10:00pm at Holy Cross Prep
Tickets - $65 per person
Table of 10 - $550
(includes buffet dinner, beer, wine, set-ups)
ONLINE TICKET PURCHASES ARE CLOSED
Food and Drink by Summit Catering
Music by DADDY POP
As part of the Fifth Anniversary Celebration, please join us for Mass on Friday, May 12th at 10:15am in the Holy Cross Prep Academy auditorium. This Mass will be celebrated in thanks for our Fifth Anniversary and the May Crowing of Mary procession.
Five years ago, Holy Cross was a different place... in a different time.
In October of 2017, challenges were placed in our path... challenges that placed the future of our school in jeopardy. When challenges are presented, you must ask yourself:
"How Do I Respond?"
Through 2017-18, the Holy Cross community stepped up to the plate. Students, parents, faculty, administrators and alumni got together and took a "leap of faith" to create a new Holy Cross, continuing the rich legacy of alumni and preserving Catholic secondary education in Burlington County.
In the coming months we will reminisce about that leap, pray for the continuing success of our school, and celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Holy Cross 2.0 in May 2023!
For the next several months, we will share highlights of the behind-the-scenes journey taking place during that academic year leading up to our operating independence in July of 2018.
Holy Cross Prep Formation Timeline
In the first week of October 2017, Holy Cross administration received a letter from the Diocese of Trenton indicating there was great concern about the enrollment and financial status of the school and that its future was in jeopardy.
As the school was preparing for its 60th Anniversary, alumni from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s learned of the possibility that the school might close. These individuals - the HCPA Founding Board - began a journey that made our current school possible.
This is a history of that journey, a timeline to celebrate as HCPA moves forward successfully!
October 12, 2017 - First discussions by alumni committee (the future HCPA Founding Board)
October 17, 2017 - Request for meeting sent to Diocese of Trenton Superintendent of Schools
October 27, 2017 - Founding board members met for the first time with representatives from the Diocese of Trenton - the Vicar of Education, Superintendent of Schools, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. The main focus of the conversation was how alumni could raise money to help avoid the closure of Holy Cross High School.
November 2, 2017 - The Save Holy Cross group (the future HCPA Founding Board) meets with the Holy Cross 1.0 Advisory Board.
November 11, 2017 - The 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Opening of Holy Cross High School. This event was a culmination of a year’s planning, and during that time only a very small number of people (the future HCPA Founding Board) knew just how precarious the future existence actually was. But at this celebration, over 500 alumni walked the halls of their youth and enjoyed dancing in the gym to the band "Don’t Call Me Francis". The success of this event reinforced to the group the extreme need for Holy Cross to be saved, even if it meant taking the school independent from the Diocese. The traditions needed to live on!
November 13, 2017 - The Save Holy Cross group (the future HCPA Founding Board) meets officals of Mater Dei High School in Middletown Township. In 2015, they were similarly informed by the Diocese of Trenton that they were to be closed, and raised $1.5 million to stay open as Mater Dei Prep.
November 16, 2017 - At a second meeting with the Diocese of Trenton, the future HCPA Founding Board proposed a pro-forma operating budget for an independent school. That proposal included fundraising, marketing, and admissions plans, with the request for an opportunity to move forward with a soft transition of 18 months. This transition time would allow the group to work closely with key stakeholders of Holy Cross 1.0, thereby making the transition as seamless as possible for the diocese, faculty, students, and parents. Focused fundraising efforts would begin to support the school becoming independent in July of 2019. The group was to have a third meeting in early December 2017 before receiving a “blessing of independence” from Bishop David O'Connell later that month. However, it was understood at the time of this meeting that if the blessing were to be given, a hard transition of 7 months would be expected.
November 20, 2017 - Two Holy Cross Founding Board members met with the Mater Dei Prep (MDP) Admissions team, who provided great information on how they handled registration for new and existing students when their closing was announced.
December 4, 2017 - In a third meeting with the Diocese of Trenton, the Founding Board presented the final proposal for independent operation - Leadership and Development plans, the status of meetings with Mater Dei Prep Trustees, and Enrollment Goals. The Board left the meeting with no indication of Holy Cross’ future.
December 11, 2017 - Bishop David M. O’Connell visits Holy Cross to inform school leadership that Holy Cross (HC 1.0) would close at the end of the school year on June 30th, 2018. The Bishop then met with Founding Board members... their first face-to-face meeting. All previous meetings were with his leadership team. The Bishop laid out the religious requirements for HCPA to operate as an Independent Catholic High School. When the Bishop left that day, the future of Holy Cross was still unknown. A late afternoon call from the diocese gave the board the green light to move forward. Now the real work begins!
December 14, 2017 - Article publised in the Burlington County Times - "Diocese To Pull Support From Holy Cross; Group Says It Hopes To Keep School Open"
December 22, 2017 - Articleby Holy Cross Academy senior Ariana Cobb publised in the Burlington County Times - "Holy Cross Senior Excited About School's Future"
December 26, 2017 - Legal formation documents were finalized to incorporate two non-profit entities: "Holy Cross Preparatory Academy" and "The Lancer Fund". A future board member arranged for a major Philadelphia Law Firm to prepare all documents pro-bono, and also provide legal guidance to navigate the complexities of independence.
January 10, 2018 - Once the formation documents were completed on December 26th, work began on a presentation to the faculty and the parents of current and future students. The expanding group of alumni and the board designed brochures to be handed out that laid out the future vision for Holy Cross Preparatory Academy. The six goals that the new school would be built upon were: Deepening our identity as a Catholic Institution, Expanding our curriculum, Combining Teaching, Technology and Innovation, Enhancing our Campus Life, Creating Financial Sustainability, and combining Lancer Nation and Community Development.
January 15, 2018 - As a new non-profit corporation, Holy Cross Prep would need to interview and hire all new faculty, administration and other employees. An academic committee to fulfill this important task was formed and included a college president, superintendents, catholic and public school principals, a retired alumni public school teacher and a founding board representative.
January 26, 2018 - Over the past two weeks, negotiations with the Diocese regarding a lease for the school building and campus began. HCPA Founding Board members started meeting with the principals of the local Catholic feeder schools and shared HCPA’s plan to operate independently. Bank meetings also took place to set up operating and reserve accounts for the new school. We were informed by the Diocese of Trenton that Holy Cross would be releasing their admissions department at the end of January since their doors were closing in June. Upon that news, the HCPA Founding Board hired the admission personnel and had to lease office space from Holy Cross 1.0 in preparation of enrolling students for the 2018/2019 academic year.
February 21, 2018 - Holy Cross Preparatory Academy (HCPA) and the Lancer Fund (our two 501c3 non profits) filed paperwork with the Diocese of Trenton in order to be added to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Directory (USCCB). Under this listing, HCPA and the Lancer Fund are registered as Catholic entities. Both receive their tax exempt status under a 1946 IRS ruling for the USCCB.
March 27, 2018 - During the month of March, the academic committee reviewed candidates for the first principal position of Holy Cross Preparatory Academy. Two principal candidates were recommended for consideration by the committee, and each candidate met with the board for their second interview. The board then made their decision , but this process could not be completed when the lease negotiations were taking place simultaneously with the diocese.
MORE TO COME!