Girls Catholic Central High School

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Girls Catholic Central High School
GCC Parsons St. Entrance.jpg
58 Parsons Street

Other nameGCC
TypePrivate non-boarding Catholic high school
FounderSisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
ChaplainPriests of CICM Order
Faculty14 (12 IHM Sisters, 2 lay teachers)
Color(s)Navy blue and white         
AccreditationNorth Central Association
NewspaperThe Centribune
YearbookThe Centravue

Girls Catholic Central High School (GCC) was a private, non-boarding college preparatory secondary school for girls grades 9 through 12 located in midtown Detroit, Michigan.


In September 1893, four IHM Sisters (Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) opened a school called St. Patrick's, at Cathedral parish in Detroit, after several years as St. Patrick’s Grade School, and Saints Peter and Paul Academy, the building was renamed Catholic Central High School for Girls and converted into a high school curriculum in the school year 1927-28. The first graduate was recorded on June 22, 1899.

Thereafter, the school, under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Detroit, was administered by the IHM Sisters, Priests of the CICM order, and was accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation, the tuition-based academic program included strict entrance exams and admission requirements under which potential student applicants were carefully scrutinized.

Many students traveled from considerable distances, not only from Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park but also suburbs including Ferndale, Grosse Pointe, and Livonia. Although the student body was predominantly white for many years, the social changes of the late 1950s and early 1960s began to bring about the enrollment of a small number of students of color; in an atmosphere of ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity, young women of all nationalities, some foreign-born from Eastern European countries, were assimilating comfortably and forming strong bonds of friendship. The interactions and developing camaraderie between the high-achieving students proved to be mutually beneficial and paved the way to academic success.

Located on a quiet side-street in mid-town Detroit, the three-story school building’s Gothic Revival structure is in keeping with the beautiful sounds wafting from nearby Orchestra Hall as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra rehearsed. Familiar symphonies and classical works by famous composers inadvertently provided accompaniment to afternoon classes.


The demanding college preparatory curriculum offered the required and elective courses at each grade level in Religion, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language (Latin I, II, III), Business (Typing, Shorthand), and Physical Education. A low student-teacher ratio was maintained, ensuring a maximum student body of around 300, the faculty was strongly supported by families who shared the values and mission of Girls Catholic Central and the advantages of single-gender college preparatory education in the absence of demographic influences.


With the Patroness Mary Queen as inspiration, the principles of Christian life in the Roman Catholic tradition were stressed at all times; in addition to IHM Sisters faculty members, Diocesan priests of the CICM order also held regular religion classes. The academic program was accompanied by mandatory strict adherence to deeply religious values and devotion to the Catholic faith and Church rituals. Prior to the beginning of classes each morning, Mass was attended at the Chapel of St. Theresa-the Little Flower, which was adjacent to the school building, and the Sacrament of Confession was offered weekly.


  • Archives - IHM Sisters Motherhouse, Monroe, Michigan
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation
  • Orchestra Hall - Detroit, Michigan
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Detroit, Michigan

External links[edit]