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Monsignor Bonner High School

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Monsignor Bonner High School

Monsignor Bonner High School
403 North Lansdowne Avenue,
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, (Delaware County), 19026
United States
Type Private, All-Male
Motto Purity - Integrity - Loyalty
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Order of Saint Augustine
Established 1953
President Rev. James P. Olson
Principal William Brannick
Asst. Principal Thomas Stewart
James Strandberg
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 860 (2008)
Color(s) Green and White         
Team name Friars
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper 'Bonner Bulletin'
Yearbook 'BonAire'
Alumni 18,000
Admissions Director Steve Clement
Athletic Director John Hatfield

Monsignor Bonner High School is an all-male Augustinian Catholic High School in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It is located in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, United States. Bonner was created in 1953 as Archbishop Prendergast High School for Boys. In 1955, the current building was constructed and subsequently entitled Monsignor Bonner High School. In 2012, it merged with the all-girls Archbishop Prendergast High School to form Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School.


Since its founding, Monsignor Bonner has been run by the Order of Saint Augustine of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. It is one of nine [2] Augustinian high schools in North America. Bonner has a storied history with the Augustinians, as those assigned to Bonner reside in the friary behind the school. Bonner is also renowned for retaining alumni as faculty and administration, a great testament to the Bonner tradition and the strong sense of community that embodies the school. Currently, there are 22 alumni on staff, including the former president, Rev. Augustine M. Esposito, O.S.A., Ph. D., '69. In September 2005, it was announced that the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was implementing an administrative restructuring of Monsignor Bonner High School for Boys and the neighboring Archbishop Prendergast High School for Girls. Essentially, the schools would begin operating under one administration beginning on 1st, July, 2006. Bonner's president was appointed president of the new co-institutional Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School. The Principal of neighboring Archbishop Prendergast High School, Mrs. Mary Berner, was named Principal of the co-institutional school in January 2006.

Monsignor John J. Bonner, the school's namesake, was the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1926 to 1945. He is credited with establishing the Philadelphia Catholic League and was one of the best-known Catholic educators in the country.

The Augustinians in North America

The North American foundation of the order happened in 1796 when Irish friars arrived in Philadelphia. Michael Hurley was the first American to join the Order the following year. Friars established schools, Universities and other works throughout the Americas, also including Villanova University in Philadelphia (USA) and Merrimack College (USA). Malvern Preparatory School was founded in 1842 alongside Villanova University, and by 1909 two Augustinian houses and a school had been established in Chicago, 1922 in San Diego, by 1925 a school in Ojai and Los Angeles; 1926 a school in Oklahoma; in 1947 a college in Massachusetts; in 1952 a school in Detroit, Michigan (closed in 1978); in 1953 this school; 1959 a school in New Jersey, another in Reading (Massachusetts); and in 1962 a school in Illinois.

The Augustinian Friars left campus and removed themselves from the day-to-day activities of the school at the end of the 2008-2009 academic school year. Due to the lack of priests in the Augustinian Order and the expense to the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, they decided to leave and focus on the remaining parishes, ministries, facilities, and educational institutions in which they serve. Many of Bonner's friars relocated to nearby Malvern Preparatory School.


The position of President established in 1993 for all Archdiocesan High Schools. The President is responsible for financial operations, facilities issues, fundraising, alumni relations, and external affairs.

  • 1993 to 1996: Rev. Gordon Marcellus, O.S.A.
  • 1996 to 1999: Mr. Thomas Smith
  • 1999 to 2001: Rev. John Denny, O.S.A. '75
  • 2001 to 2009: Rev. Augustine M. Esposito, O.S.A '69
  • 2009 to Present: Rev. James P. Olson


The Principal was originally the top administrator in the school. In 1993, this shifted when the Presidency was introduced. Since then, the Principal has handled the day-to-day operation of the school.

  • 1953 to 1959: Rev. John Gallagher, O.S.A.
  • 1959 to 1962: Rev. Kenneth Kennedy, O.S.A.
  • 1962 to 1967: Rev. Thomas Mahoney, O.S.A.
  • 1967 to 1972: Rev. David Duffy, O.S.A.
  • 1972 to 1974: Rev. Francis Sevick, O.S.A.
  • 1974 to 1976: Rev. Harry Erdlen, O.S.A.
  • 1976 to 1979: Rev. George Burnell, O.S.A.
  • 1979 to 1987: Rev. Francis Horn, O.S.A., '67
  • 1987 to 1993: Rev. Gordon Marcellus, O.S.A.
  • 1993 to 2001: Rev. John T. Denny, O.S.A., '75
  • 2001 to 2005: Dr. Thomas F. Rooney, Ph.D, '62
  • 2005 to 2006: Mr. William Brannick, '95 (Acting Principal)
  • 2006 to 2007: Mrs. Mary Haley Berner, (first co-institutional Principal)
  • 2007 to present: Mr. William E. Brannick, '95 (co-institutional Principal)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  2. ^ See Augustinian web reference
  3. ^

External links

  • Order of St Augustine, International Homepage
  • Augnet International Cooperative Web Site for Schools in the Tradition of St. Augustine
  • Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas at Brno
  • The International Alliance of Catholic Knights

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