Sterling, Illinois is located along the Rock River 45 miles east of the Quad City Area, 75 miles north
of Peoria, 52 miles southwest of Rockford and 80 miles west of Chicagoland. The Union Pacific "Overland Route" from San Francisco
to Chicago runs through the town. Religion is well-accommodated in Sterling, as there are at least 25 church organizations
in the town of 15,500. The "twin" in the school is Rock Falls, the city across the Rock River from Sterling.
The Reverend Monsignor A.J. Burns founded the St. Mary's parish in Sterling in 1915. There were 22 freshmen enrolled
in high school courses that year, in one room on the second floor. In 1920, the St. Mary's Parish joined with the Sacred Heart
Parish of Sterling and became St. Mary's-Sacred Heart Community High School," or for short, "Community Catholic High School.
Two years later, Sterling Community Catholic High School erected its own building at the cost of $140,000.00. The cornerstone
was laid by the Catholic Bishop of Rockford, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Peter J. Muldoon on July 4th, 1923, which was exact
11 years to the date that the cornerstone was laid at St. Mary's Grade School. Economics, religion, math, Latin, history,
sciences, electives in modern larnguages, music and "oral expression" were offerered as classes.
By 1929, Community Catholic was accepting students from all over the Whiteside/Lee/Carroll County area.
In the mid-1950's, plans were made to establish a new high school on the northwest side of town, named after Cardinal
John Henry Newman. The opening of Newman Central Catholic High School in 1958 thus ended the run of "Community Catholic."
St. Marys/Community Catholic High School Quick Facts
Year new school built: 1958
Central Catholic High School
HS team nickname: Comets
HS team colors: Blue
School Fight Song: