The concept of the first all-boys Catholic high school in Queens began on the campus of Notre Dame University in the early 1940’s out of a friendship between The Reverend Monsignor Edmund Reilly, Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn and The Reverend Father Frederick Schulte, C.S.C. The Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross were invited to staff the Boys’ Department of St. Thomas Aquinas School in 1944 and St. Francis of Assisi School (also in Brooklyn) in 1947. Within two months after staffing St. Thomas Aquinas, the Brothers were invited to establish a high school in the Bayside West section of Queens.
Due to World War II and some difficulties the Diocese of Brooklyn encountered in securing the land on which Holy Cross was built, in September 1955, ten years after the initial plans were drawn, Holy Cross High School officially opened its doors in the still incomplete building. With the enthusiastic support of interested parents and the leadership of the Brothers of Holy Cross, who assumed all financial responsibility and built the school through their own funding, Holy Cross was well on its way of educating generations of young men in the context of Christian values and the Holy Cross tradition.
When the school opened in 1955, Holy Cross was the only comprehensive Catholic high school for boys in New York State. In addition to traditional college prep academic classes, Holy Cross had an Industrial Arts program and a course of General Studies, these were discontinued in the late 1960’s. From a field of studies of eight courses and a dedicated faculty and staff of more than seventy today, to courses of studies representing one hundred and twenty required and elective college preparatory courses, Holy Cross continues to serve the male youth of the Diocese of Brooklyn and surrounding areas in the tradition of Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., and the Congregation of Holy Cross. The mission to educate young men in the traditions of their Catholic faith and prepare them for future life situations remains as important now as it did when the school first opened.