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History of the Basilians

In the aftermath of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, at

a time when French seminaries had been forcibly closed and Catholic

education suppressed, a small group of diocesan priests in Annonay,

France, came together to establish a school to educate young men and

prepare them for the priesthood. They went about this task in secret

until 1822 when French laws were changed. At that time, the 10 priests

residing there bound themselves into a religious community to continue

the important work they had begun. The members took St. Basil the

Great, a fourth century Bishop and teacher, as their namesake and

became the Congregation of St. Basil.

In 1852, at the request of Bishop de Charbonnel of Toronto, who was

also a former student at Annonay, the Basilians opened St. Michael’s

College in Toronto, Ontario. During this time, the Congregation

continued to grow in North America. In 1900, three Basilian priests

led by the Rev. Nicholas Roche, CSB, opened St. Thomas College in

Houston along the banks of Buffalo Bayou in an unused building of a

Franciscan Monastery.

In 1903, they moved the school to a more permanent location in

downtown on Austin Street and Hadley, where the school thrived until

1940. At that time, thanks to the efforts of the Rev. T.P. O’Rourke, CSB,

and the Rev. Leland A. Higgins, CSB, the school moved to its current

home at the corner of Memorial and Shepherd Drives.

At St. Thomas High School, the Basilian Fathers have continued the

tradition of Catholic education they began more than 150 years ago in

the mountains of central France. Despite dramatic changes in the world

since that time, the Basilian motto of “Teach Me Goodness, Discipline

and Knowledge” has become an integral part of numerous young men’s


Rev. Kevin Storey, CSB

Father Storey was elected to become the 2nd

President of St. Thomas High School in November

2011 and was inaugurated in August 2012. He

served as a teacher and coach at St. Thomas High

School from 2004-2010 and led the Eagle cross

country team to a TAPPS State Championship in


Rev. Patrick Fulton, CSB

Father Fulton is in his fifth year at St. Thomas,

having been appointed by the General Council of the

Basilian Fathers as the twenty-sixth principal in the

school’s history. He previously coached swimming

and is an avid athlete. Whether it is lifting weights

or running, Fr. Fulton exercises to balance his other

favorite pastime, gourmet cooking.

Rev. Jim Murphy, CSB

Father Murphy joined the St. Thomas faculty in

2011. In January 2012, he was named Assistant

Athletic Director in addition to being the Athletic

Chaplain. His teaching responsibilities include

Freshman Theology. He has coached lacrosse,

hockey, indoor track, and volleyball. Broadcasting is

his passion and he served as the PA announcer at

basketball and baseball games last year. A man of

many talents, he has also sung the US and Canadian

national anthems at hundreds of sporting events.

Rev. Robert Glass, CSB

Father Glass has now served for over 20 years

at St. Thomas, with stints from 1967-1970,

1974-1979, 1987-1993, and 2006-Present. He

currently assists in the Dean’s Office and is the

Superior of the Basilian community on campus.

He was honored in 2009 by being inducted into

the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of


Rev. Albert Gaelens, CSB

Father Gaelens has been a member of the St.

Thomas community for more than 30 years,

beginning in 1977 as a Theology teacher, then

as Vice Principal, Counselor and finally Principal.

After six years at two other Basilian schools, he

returned in January 2001 as Director of Alumni

Relations until his retirement in 2007. He is still

in residence at St. Thomas and can be seen at

most sporting events on campus.

Rev. Ronald Schwenzer, CSB

Father Schwenzer retired in July 2012 after

fourteen years as both President and Principal

of St. Thomas High School. He is the only man

to serve as both President and Principal of this

school. His illustrious career included over 40

years in administration of Basilian high schools

across America.