Ministry Spotlight-Magnificat High School
Magnificat High School, a girls’ Catholic college-preparatory high school in Rocky River, Ohio, was founded by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in 1955 to educate young women to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Mary’s Magnificat. The expansive curricular and co-curricular programs prepare each girl for success in college and life.Following World War II the country planned for a baby boom beginning in the 1950s when enrollments for elementary and secondary schools would see significant increases. The Cleveland Diocese anticipated this growth with the addition of a number of high schools that would be staffed by various religious congregations throughout the greater Cleveland area. The Sisters of the Humility of Mary would be adding another high school to the west of Cleveland.
To that end in 1949 a 65-acre site between Center Ridge Road and Hilliard Road in Rocky River, Ohio was purchased by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary as the proposed location for this new high school. It was in 1954, however, that the 23-acre site at the northeast corner of Hilliard Road and Wagar Road that was once intended for a new St. Christopher Church was offered to the sisters from the parish through its pastor who was the brother of one of the HM Sisters. The gift was in thanksgiving for the Congregation’s 30 years of service. The gift of the land was accepted, and the other lot was sold.
In 1955 Bishop Edward F. Hoban approved plans drawn up for the school and connecting convent. Registration for the freshman class was held at Lourdes Academy in April. Participants in the groundbreaking ceremonies included Mother Lorita O’Brien, Sr. Mary of Lourdes Vetter as first principal, St. Christopher pastor Monsignor Ahern, and the mayor of Rocky River. Construction was begun that summer. The first class of 63 students met in rented rooms in the former Wooster School. They were taught by three Sisters of the Humility of Mary.
Today, Magnificat remains committed to providing students with “dynamic learning experiences that call forth their gifts and talents and spark their imaginations, build their confidence, and hone their skills for life-long learning.”