Salesianum School

Salesianum School is a Roman Catholic independent school for boys located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is run independently within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and is operated by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The current enrollment is about 930 students, declining from a peak of about 1,100 in recent years, from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Salesianum has established a close connection with Lycée Saint Michel, another Oblate high school, located in Annecy, France.[citation needed] Salesianum was named one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in America by the Catholic Honor Roll in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.[5][6][7][8][9]

Salesianum front sign, May 2007.jpg
1801 North Broom Street


United States
Coordinates39°45′39″N 75°32′58″W / 39.76083°N 75.54944°W / 39.76083; -75.54944Coordinates: 39°45′39″N 75°32′58″W / 39.76083°N 75.54944°W / 39.76083; -75.54944
MottoTenui Nec Dimittam
(I have taken hold and will not let go.)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
(Oblates of St. Francis de Sales)
PresidentBrendan Kennealey
PrincipalRev. Chris Beretta O.S.F.S.
Enrollment950 (2020-2021)
Athletics conferenceDelaware Interscholastic Athletic Association
Team nameSallies
RivalSt. Mark's
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools
NewspaperThe Review
YearbookThe Salesian
Tuition$17,100 (2020-2021)[1]
WebsiteSchool website


The 22-acre (89,000 m2) campus is home to the school itself as well as a gymnasium. In addition to the campus, the athletic program also makes use of Wilmington's newly constructed Abessinio Stadium formerly Baynard Stadium which is located directly across from the school.


Salesianum School has won 153 Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) approved boys' state championships,[citation needed] winning its first state championship in basketball in 2014.[10]

Salesianum's historical rival is St. Mark's High School, which is located in suburban Wilmington. Their fall meeting in football is commonly referred to as "The Holy War".[11][12]

The soccer team won 11 state championships between 2002 and 2014, and in 2013 defeated Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in a game winning goal scored by Joseph Dolce, the national number one ranked high school program in the United States. They finished the season ranked as the number two high school team in the country.[13][14] The 2016 soccer team finished the season ranked sixth in the nation by USA Today on its final Super 25 Expert Rankings.[15]

The cross country team has won 37 of the 42 DIAA state boys' championships, losing only five years between 1972 and 2013.[16]

The Salesianum swimming team has won ten consecutive state boys' championships between 2005 and 2015 and 11 of the last 12 from 2005-2017[17]

Original location - 8th & West Streets
Front entrance


Salesianum (Latin for "House of Sales", referring to St. Francis de Sales) was founded in 1903 and was located at 8th and West Streets until the move to its current location in 1957. In 1950, Rev. Thomas Lawless, OSFS, a 1908 graduate of Salesianum, admitted five African American students four years prior to the Brown v. Board of Education decision which made it mandatory, thus making Salesianum the first racially integrated school in the state of Delaware. The school was recognized for this with a historical marker.[18]

In August 2012 the Wilmington/Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales published a letter stating, "Since 2004, the Wilmington/Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales has been named in lawsuits in the Superior Court of Delaware filed by 40 plaintiffs, each of which contained allegations of sexual abuse of a minor." The letter named 12 oblates who had been involved and expressed regrets, stating, "The abuse of children by priests and other clergy is shocking, reprehensible, and devastating to all whose trust has been shattered by their selfish deeds."[19] This followed a settlement in August 2011 of 39 lawsuits against the school and the order, with the order and its insurers paying $24.8 million to be shared between the plaintiffs.[20]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Tuition and Financial Aid".
  2. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  3. ^ "Faculty Information - Mr. Brendan Kennealey". Salesianum School. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  4. ^ "Faculty Information - Rev. Christian Beretta, OSFS". Salesianum School. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  5. ^ "The Cardinal Newman Society > Error". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Cardinal Newman Society > Error". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Cardinal Newman Society > Error". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  8. ^ "St. Thomas More and Salesianum named among top 50 Catholic High Schools for 2009". Hockessin Community News. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Cardinal Newman Society > Error". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Greene, Sean (March 8, 2014). "Salesianum wins 1st basketball championship". WDEL. Wilmington, DE. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Buzby, Jon (November 12, 2009). "As season comes ends, 3 local teams hope to play on". The Newark Post. Newark, DE.
  12. ^ "State of Delaware - Sports". Archived from the original on August 19, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "Athletics / Fall Sports - Salesianum School". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  14. ^ Bernstein, Jason (October 22, 2013). "St. Benedict's Prep winning streak ends at 71 games after 1-0 defeat to Salesianum of Delaware". Star-Ledger. Newark, NJ. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Super 25 Expert Rankings for 2016-17 Boys Soccer Week 13, USA Today. Accessed May 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "DIAA State Boys' Cross Country DI Champions" (PDF). Delaware Department of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 12, 2012.
  17. ^ "DIAA- Boys' Swimming & Diving Champions" (PDF). Delaware Department of Education.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Kenney, Edward L. (February 27, 2006). "First to break the color line". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE: Gannett. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  19. ^ Greenfield, Very Rev. James J. (August 2012). "Healing Letter". Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Wilmington-Philadelphia Province. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  20. ^ "Oblates settle abuse suits, paying $24.8 million". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. August 22, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Oscar goes to...Delaware's own stormtrooper?". delawareonline.
  22. ^ "Salesianum School in Wilmington, DE is a Catholic High School for Boys".
  23. ^ a b Patrick George. "Alumni profiles". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  24. ^ "Alumni". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  25. ^ "Salesianum School Alumni".
  26. ^
  27. ^ "U.S. Navy Biographies - REAR ADMIRAL TIM SZYMANSKI". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  28. ^ "Newspaper facsimile" (PDF). April 26, 1985. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  29. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes - Awards". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "Alumni". Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  31. ^ BC. "Villanova Running: Vic Zwolak: Villanova's Only Individual Male XC Champion". Retrieved March 31, 2015.

External linksEdit