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Monsignor Bonner High School was 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 in 1957 entitled Monsignor Bonner High School. The previously occupied building became the all-female Archbishop Prendergast High School. In 2012, Bonner merged with the all-girls Archbishop Prendergast High School to form Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School. The Order of St. Augustine is no longer associated with the combined institution.

Monsignor Bonner High School
403 North Lansdowne Avenue,

, ,

United States
Coordinates39°57′12″N 75°16′53″W / 39.95333°N 75.28139°W / 39.95333; -75.28139Coordinates: 39°57′12″N 75°16′53″W / 39.95333°N 75.28139°W / 39.95333; -75.28139
TypePrivate, All-Male
Motto"Purity - Integrity - Loyalty"
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Order of Saint Augustine
PresidentDr. John Cooke
PrincipalJames Strandberg
Enrollment860 (2008)
Color(s)Green and White         
Team nameFriars
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
NewspaperBonner Bulletin
Admissions DirectorPatrick Walsh
Athletic DirectorBrian Wagner


Since its founding, Monsignor Bonner had 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 had a storied history with the Augustinians, as those assigned to Bonner resided 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. At the time of the reorganization, there were about 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 AmericaEdit

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 Austin Catholic Preparatory 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 2015: Rev. James P. Olson
  • 2015 to present: Dr. John E. Cooke


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 1999: Rev. John T. Denny, O.S.A., '75
  • 1999 to 2005: Dr. Thomas F. Rooney, EdD, '62
  • 2005 to 2006: Mr. William Brannick, '95 (Acting Principal)
  • 2006 to 2007: Mrs. Mary Haley Berner, (first co-institutional Principal)
  • 2007 to 2014: Mr. William E. Brannick, '95 (co-institutional Principal)
  • 2014 to 2016: Dr. Tracy Rush
  • 2016 to present: Mr. James Strandberg

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  2. ^ See Augustinian web reference "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit