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25 Years of Co-Education

February 7, 2014

It has been 25 years since Griffin High School for boys — run by the Viatorians — merged with Sacred Heart Academy, run by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. Sacred Heart-Griffin High School

The decision resulted in Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, and 25 years later its original administrators who negotiated the union, will be honored for their “leadership, vision and courage” in merging the two traditions.

Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, and Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, O.P. will be honored Feb. 22 at a 25th anniversary gala in Springfield.

“It’s a complete surprise,” said Fr. Erickson, “but it’s nice to be remembered and to recognize the Viatorian legacy at the school. Griffin’s traditions are very much a part of the school, and as a result, the Viatorian tradition is still there.”SHG_1988_0002SHG_1988_0001

Fr. Erickson had served as principal of Griffin for 10 years, leading up to its merger in 1988. Viatorians had staffed and administered the school, since 1930.

Sr. Mary Paul & Fr. EricksonBoth he and Sr. Mary Paul stayed on to run the new school — with Sr. Mary Paul as principal and Fr. Erickson as vice principal — for three years, before stepping away.

“This was an idea whose time had come,” Fr. Erickson said. “We were literally a block away from each other and already shared some classes. So there already was this movement, and in merging we combined the best elements from both schools.”