Early Days :
In 1858 history was in the making when a young Irish priest Rev. Fr. William Gleeson came to Lucknow. He sold the land of the former mission at Golaganj and out of the proceeds and subscriptions raised from the public; he purchased a plot of land at Hazratganj which was then in the wilderness. In 1860 he built a beautiful Church and dedicated it to St. Joseph. This Church was blessed by Bishop Anastasius Hartmann on the 10th of May 1862. In the same year Rev. Fr. William Gleeson built a boundary wall and a priest’s house in 1860 -1862. He then handed over charge of the station to Rev. Fr. Felix O.F.M. Cap, of Turin.
The Birth of an Institution :
In 1885, Rev. Fr. Norbert, O.F.M. Cap, of Tossignano began teaching two boys, Issac & Charles Claudius, on the verandah of the priest’s house. Realizing the pressing need of education, he established St. Francis School and orphanage. In 1890 he established St. Francis Boarding and Day School where the present Cathedral School exists. In 1908 the land where St. Francis School now stands was purchased by the Bishop of Allahabad Rt. Rev. Petronius Gramigna O.F.M. Cap, In 1918 St. Francis School was shifted to its present location on 8, Shahnajaf Road. St. Joseph’s Orphanage and St. Joseph’s High School continued on the same premises of St. Joseph’s Church.
The founder :
On the 20th of January 1942, Very Rev. Fr. Conrad de Vito, O.F.M Cap, was appointed the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church Lucknow. On the 16th of February 1947, he was consecrated the First Bishop of the new Diocese of Lucknow. The governor of U.P., Sir Francis Wylie extended full support and also attended the consecration and played an important role in the festivities that followed. In early 1950, Bishop Conrad expressed deep concern for primary education. He had sown the seed and perhaps this was the advent of greater things to come. Maybe this was the conception of a legend, “From a tiny acorn grew the mighty oak”. We thank Bishop Conrad De Vito in Heaven for planting that seed in 1950.
The launching :
On the 8th of July 1950, St. Joseph’s Private Day School came into existence with Rev. Fr. Edward Albertazzi O.F.M. Cap, as the Founder Principal with 60 children and four class rooms.
Cathedral school gets it’s own identity :
On the 16th of July, 1952 due to a government notification earlier St. Joseph’s Private Day School was renamed as Cathedral School with Very Rev.Fr. Clement Bondioli, O.F.M. Cap, as the second Principal for the succeeding five years. The school then consisted of eight to ten class rooms with 150 children on its roll. This gentle giant was loved by one and all. He loved children and was very concerned for their well-being and education and was pained by the plight of the orphans whom he loved, cared and worked for tirelessly.