Front cover of program from the blessing of Bishop Reilly High School on April 21, 1963
From the Archives
By Mary Flynn
This month’s archives column looks into the history of a short-lived school: Bishop Reilly High School in Fresh Meadows, Queens, NYC. The start of Bishop Reilly High School came at a time of expansion of diocesan high schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Bishop Reilly High School was described as “a modern brick structure in the form of a swept-back wing jet plane.” The newly constructed building included classrooms to fit 2,400 students, labs, a library of 34,000 volumes, an auditorium, cafeteria, gymnasium, chapel, and living quarters for the Sisters of Charity and Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The Sisters supervised the girl’s division in the west wing and the Brothers supervised the boys division in the east wing. The first day of school was September 17, 1962 and the official blessing of the building was April 21, 1963. The school’s name honors the late Edmund J. Reilly, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who died in 1958.
In 1974, the Diocese of Brooklyn closed Bishop Reilly High School and St. Francis Preparatory School, operated by the Franciscan Brothers, moved into the building. After the closure, some of the Sisters continued their education ministries as staff at St. Francis Prep.