The ground work to establish a Catholic High School in the Lombard/Villa park community began in 1960 when pastors of six local Catholic parishes contact Bishop D. McNamara and requested the creation of a Catholic Co-educational high School. The Brothers of the Christian Schools were approached and agreed to sponsor this new high school. The new high school was slated to open in September, 1966 under the name of Montini in honor of the pope at that time, Pope Paul VI whose family name was Montini.
Pope Paul VI was born as Giovanni Battista Montini (John Baptist) Montini in 1897 in the Northern Italian province of Brescia. He was elected pope in 1963, and served a 15 year pontificate before his death in Castel Gandolfo on August 6, 1978. Pope Paul VI is described as a brilliant man, deeply spiritual, reserved and gentle.
Pope Paul was beautified on May 10, 2014 after a miracle was accredited to Paul's intercession. Blessed Pope Paul VI was canonized on October 14, 2018. His feast day will be September 26th.
On Monday, October 14, 2019, our school community marked the one year anniversary of the canonization of Pope Paul VI, St. Pope Paul VI. With that, Pope Paul VI joins in sainthood the founder of the Lasallian school charism, St. John Baptist de La Salle. Since the founding of the Montini Catholic High School community in 1966, we have invoked the name of De La Salle countless times at the conclusion of each instance of prayer. The tradition of closing prayers with “St. John Baptist de La Salle… Pray for Us” is one we share with the more than one million Lasallians studying and working in ministries throughout the world.
With the recent canonization of Pope Paul VI, our school community is blessed to have another saint so closely associated with our community to whom we can appeal for prayers. It is with that in mind that following his canonization, we added to our prayers an appeal to St. Pope Paul VI. Moving forward, “St. John Baptist de La Salle… Pray for Us,” will be followed by “St. Pope Paul VI… Pray for Us.” As always, we will conclude all prayers with “Live Jesus in our hearts… forever."
While it will take some time to adjust to this fuller recitation of prayer, we’re quite excited to acknowledge, honor, and call upon St. Pope Paul VI many times throughout the school day and at future school events.