History of Oratory

From its earliest foundations as Carlton Academy in 1907, Oratory has had a constant focus: attention to the individual. Charles Schultz, the first headmaster, emphasized this ideal when he founded the school. The administration of Rev. John J. Bain, headmaster from 1945 to 1967, echoed this philosophy in the theme of his administration—Accent on the Individual. This priority has been echoed by all our Heads of School, up to our present leader, Mr. Robert Costello.

Another noted consistency is reflected in a quote from an early yearbook which states that Carlton “lives up to its ideal of an expanded home whose discipline shall be parental.” Present-day students would verify that this family atmosphere still characterizes Oratory today.

An excerpt from the 1917 Carltonian comments that “The religious atmosphere of Carlton Academy is all-pervading: one can truly say that this is the guiding force of all that is best in the school.” Recognition of this guiding force is undoubtedly evident today. Although there are many fine schools in the area, parents choose to send their sons to Oratory because it offers something more important than just the academic fundamentals. It offers an experience which is "academically excellent and distinctively Catholic."

However, adherence to these founding ideals does not exclude the process of change. To remain a viable school in the modern, competitive world, Oratory has had to maintain superior standards. Changes in the curriculum and updated technological advances parallel those advances in our society at large.

Reflecting upon over 100 years of history can strengthen Oratorians' strong reverence for their roots. Combining this reflection with a keen anticipation for the future, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends continue to work together to make Oratory strong as it grows and develops in the third millennium.