On September 14, 2012, the Archbishop Williams High School Community will celebrate the
200th Anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. This celebration will bring together Sisters who have graduated from and taught at the school, present and former faculty, administrators, chaplains, the student body, and alumni of Archbishop Williams High School. At 11:00 a.m. there will be a ceremony to name the school’s Chapel in honor of “Our Lady of Nazareth.” A plaque will be hung inside the chapel listing the names of the 113 Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who have served Archbishop Williams High School. The day will culminate at 1:00 p.m. with a Mass in the school auditorium celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston. A reception will follow the Mass in the school cafeteria.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth was founded in 1812 in the newly formed diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky. Their role was to provide religious education for the children of more than one thousand Catholic families who had migrated to Kentucky from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. From among a group of six women who initially responded to the call, Catherine Spalding was elected first superior of the Congregation. For more than 40 years, Mother Catherine guided the Sisters, ever mindful of the needs of the time. Over the years the Sisters opened and staffed countless schools, hospitals, and orphanages in states such as Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. In the years following World War II, the Sisters extended their ministry to India, Nepal, Belize, and Botswana. In the 1980’s the Sisters were among the few organizations reaching out to those with the HIV/AIDS infection at a time when little was known about the illness.
In September 1949, at the request of Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth opened and staffed a new Catholic high school in Braintree, Massachusetts to serve the spiritual and educational needs of Catholics in communities south of Boston. The new school was named Archbishop Williams High School in honor of the Most Reverend John Joseph Williams who was named the first Archbishop of Boston in 1885.
Sister Virginia Maria Boldrick, SCN, served as the first principal of Archbishop Williams High School from 1949 to 1955. While at Archbishop Williams, Sister Virginia Maria’s deep faith, her dedication to the school, and her efforts to address every aspect of the educational process and its formation of the whole student, created an atmosphere that has prevailed throughout the school’s 63-year history. She lived the motto on the seal of her community Caritas Christi Urget Nos – The love of Christ Impels Us. This seal and motto are the seal and motto of Archbishop Williams High School to this day. The dedication and commitment of the 113 Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who have served Archbishop Williams High School since 1949, are largely responsible for the school’s superior reputation as a Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school.