The Catholic High School Alma Mater
You Are Here: The Catholic High School Alma Mater
Hail to Catholic High!
We’ll hold your banner high and bright,
A shield of red and white,
We’ll fight to keep your honor bright,
And never shall we fail,
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater!
Hail! Hail! Hail!
We’ll wear your crest upon our chest!
Every Anthem Has a Story
The Catholic High School Alma Mater is a fairly new tradition for the Catholic High School family. However, the tune and many of the words are from a long-lived traditional song that is sung by LaSallian schools in the Philippines. According to a video by Vic Santiago, in 1961 Brother Stephen Malachy, FSC, took out his small harmonica during a graphics class when he and Brother Bonaventure Richard, FSC, shared a song that they had recently composed. The song was first used by the NCAA basketball players and cheerleaders in the mid-1960s. The two Christian brothers did not know that their anthem would soon become “a majestic ritual, a clench-fisted display of indestructible spirit.” Today, the tune is known as the Alma Mater Hymn and is sung by students of LaSallian schools all around the Philippines and the world.
In New Iberia, the Catholic High School Alma Mater is proudly belted out by students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Catholic High as an audible expression of their pride for their school.
The Catholic High Alma Mater was a gift to the school family from the CHS Class of 2011. Alumni from throughout the years were brought to tears as their new high school Alma Mater was sung at the spring 2011 Catholic High Commencement Ceremonies at St. Peter’s Church.
Voices from the Past and Present
Mr. Bo Belanger, a past faculty member at Catholic High and proud alumnus, shared his thoughts on having a hand in the creation of the CHS Alma Mater. “When Mr. [Raymond] Simon became principal, he began talking about the need for an alma mater. One morning he came to my classroom and had me YouTube ‘LaSallian hymn.’” he said. “I think from that point on, it was a done deal. I showed the seniors (Class of 2011) and asked what they thought and they liked it. From there he got the band director [Mr. Christian Bautista] to write the music for it.” Thus, Catholic High history was made, as for the first time, CHS had an Alma Mater to call its own.”
When asked about how she felt about having a hand in bringing an Alma Mater to Catholic High, Alaynna Hebert, CHS Class of 2011, said, “Being part of the Class of 2011 and being given the opportunity to begin the legacy of the Alma Mater for Catholic High is an amazing feeling. The thing that is most amazing though is going back home to a CHS function and hearing the student body sing it proudly and knowing that I was one of the many wonderful people that had part in starting it.”
Roland Jeanlouis, CHS Class of 1983 is a father of two students who attend Catholic High, a son, Christopher (CHS 2013) and Mariah (CHS 2017). Mr. Jeanlouis expressed how much he was inspired by the Class of 2011 when he said, “I believe that the class of 2011 was filled with inspiration and guided by innovation. As a class, they apparently wanted to make a difference and did just that. It is clear to me that the school had a very positive impact on their development in many areas and for that they were appreciative. Prior to their most generous contribution to our school, we had the guidance, love and support of faculty and the administration to inspire us along with our motto, ‘Acta Non Verba.’ These dedicated individuals and this long-standing phrase was the foundation that much success was built. Since times change, the focus, direction and motivational forces must evolve along with our time. In order for everyone to remain included and engaged in our Christian formation through education, thus the creation of the Alma Mater came to pass. As we move forward, future classes should also find ways to further the aims of the Christian Brothers of deLaSalle and the Sisters of Mt. Carmel. This is a tradition that must continue.”
Belanger, Bo. Email to author. 20 Aug. 2012.
Hebert, Alaynna. Email to author. 16 Aug. 2012.
Jeanlouis, Christopher. The Catholic High Alma Mater. 2012. Photographs. Private Collection.
Jeanlouis, Roland. Personal Interview. 16 Aug. 2012.
Santiago, Vic. “Hail To De La Salle! ANTHEM.” YouTube. Web. 16 Aug. 2012.