The Founding of Bishop Maginn High School
Bishop Maginn High School was founded in 1977 as the single Diocesan Catholic High School in the City of Albany. Maginn’s founding was the result of several preceding Catholic high school mergers that include the “Heritage Schools:” Cardinal McCloskey Memorial High School and Vincentian Institute, which were consolidated into Bishop Maginn at its current location, the former site of Cardinal McCloskey. The Heritage Schools also include those Catholic high schools that were consolidated well before the 1977 founding of Maginn: Saint Joseph’s Academy, Cathedral Academy, Saint John’s High School, and Saint Ann’s High School. The Heritage Schools together laid the foundation of excellence in Catholic Education that is carried forth today at Bishop Maginn High School. In 2015, Bishop Maginn High School relocated to 75 Park Ave, continuing to provide excellence in education in a new location.
The Heritage Schools
Saint Joseph’s Academy on North Swan Street in the Albany Ten Broeck area was a co-educational Catholic high school founded in 1906 by Albany Bishop Thomas Burke, who also a served as the pastor of Saint Joseph’s Church. The school served students from the Arbor Hill area, and after six decades, closed, welcoming its students into either Cardinal McCloskey or Vincentian Institute. The Saint Joseph’s Academy building still stands, is an historic site, and the efforts to repurpose the building continue.
Saint Ann’s and Saint John’s High Schools were located in the South End Cathedral area of Albany near the Governor’s Mansion. Both of these schools began in 1916 and each merged into Cardinal McCloskey in 1957 for grades 9-12. (Elementary schools continued to operate at the Saint Ann’s and Saint John’s locations beyond the time of the high school mergers into Cardinal McCloskey.)
Cardinal McCloskey Memorial High School served students from many areas of the city. The first McCloskey building, originally located on Elm Street, was relocated in 1967 due to construction of the Empire State Plaza. Cardinal McCloskey occupied the newly-built school at 99 Slingerland Street that is now the Bishop Maginn High School location.
Vincentian Institute began in 1925 and was located on Ontario Street in the middle of a residential area near St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Following its 1977 merger with Cardinal McCloskey into Bishop Maginn and location at the current Maginn school site, the Vincentian school building became a community center and senior citizen housing complex that continues to flourish.
The Heritage Schools were managed by several Catholic religious groups. The administration and teaching of the religious priests and sisters, including the Brothers of the Holy Cross, Daughters of Charity, Diocesan priests, the Sisters of Mercy, and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondolet, laid the lasting foundation for academic excellence, Catholic values and teachings, and dedication to service that are the signature features of a Bishop Maginn High School educational experience today, offered by a dedicated lay faculty and administration.
Bishop Edward Maginn, Namesake of Bishop Maginn High School
Bishop Edward Maginn was born in Scotland in 1897. He came with his family to the United States and New York, and lived in Mechanicville, Stillwater, Fort Edward, and Glens Falls. After his 1922 ordination and serving many years as a priest, Bishop Maginn became assistant chancellor and later chancellor in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, as well as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Albany. Maginn served as Auxiliary Bishop, and was ordained Titular Bishop in 1957 when his predecessor, Bishop Scully, became too ill to administer the Albany Diocese.
During the 1960s, Bishop Maginn was confronted by a number of difficult issues, including the need to secure the civil rights of the Diocesan population. The Bishop established inner-city services and appointed priests to work among the poor. (One of those priests, Howard Hubbard, would later become the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Albany.) Bishop Maginn paved the way for the modern church in the Upstate New York region, in which social justice and Catholic Charities play major roles. Bishop Maginn represented the Albany Diocese at the Second Vatican Council during the autumns from 1962-1965 and he instituted many of the changes locally advocated by the Council.
Bishop Edward Maginn continued to serve as auxiliary bishop under his two successors, Bishop Edwin Broderick and Bishop Howard Hubbard. In the early years of Bishop Maginn High School, Bishop Maginn often would be seen roaming the sidelines at varsity football games and sporting events, cheering on the “Griffins,” the school mascot name after the half eagle/half lion mythological figure that represents the formidable combination of intelligence and strength. He was beloved by the people of the Albany Diocese. Bishop Edward Maginn retired in 1972, and passed away in 1984.
Bishop Maginn High School Today
Currently, Bishop Maginn High School serves students in grades 9-12 from the city of Albany and the Greater Capital District Area. The many outstanding Catholic school traditions, policies, and procedures that were begun in its Heritage Schools continue to be evident in the school’s culture that influence the education, future and everyday lives and future of the students, faculty, and staff.