Father William Joseph Chaminade founded the Society of Mary (Marianists). It was founded with the principles that education would be the best way to reintroduce Catholic values into society. (St Louis Alumni)
In the Islands, first the Sacred Hearts Father’s College of Ahuimanu was founded on the Windward side of Oʻahu in 1846 by the Catholic Mission under the direction of the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
One of its students, Jozef de Veuster, arrived in Hawaiʻi on March 9, 1864, at the time a 24-year-old choirboy. Determined to become a priest, he had the remainder of his schooling the College of Ahuimanu.
On May 21, Jozef was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu (he was then called Father Damien); he spent the rest of his life in Hawaiʻi. In 2009, Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.
The College of Ahuimanu flourished; as reported by the Bishop in 1865, “The college and the schools are doing well. But as the number of pupils is continually on the increase, it has become necessary to enlarge the college. First we have added a story and a top floor with an attic; then we have been obliged to construct a new building. And yet we are lacking room.”
In 1881, the school moved to its second location in former Rev. Richard Armstrong’s home, “Stonehouse” (named after the residence of Admiral Richard Thomas in England,) on 91 Beretania Street adjoining Washington Place. At that time, the name “College of St. Louis” was given to the institution in honor of Bishop Louis Maigret’s patron Saint, Louis IX.
Growing enrollment soon required the Mission Fathers to relocate the school, again; this time, they found a site on the banks of Nuʻuanu Stream. The College at Aʻala was placed under the direction of pioneer Brothers of Mary who arrived from Dayton, Ohio in 1883.
One such was German-born, Gabriel Bellinghausen, S.M. (Brother Bertram), who helped establish (if not ‘cement’) Catholic education in Hawaii. He was the first Principal (Director) of Saint Louis College, then located at Kamakela on Nu‘uanu Stream.
Brother Bertram was born in Germany, but his family emigrated to Philadelphia when he was a child. In 1865, he professed his first vows in the Society of Mary.
After having been in Cleveland, San Antonio, Dayton and Paris, France, he was appointed to open the first foreign mission of the SM (Society of Mary) in Winnipeg. (Marianistes) Then, he came to the Islands.
During his 22 years in Hawai‘i, Brother Bertram was exceptionally passionate about three things: the continued success and stability of Saint Louis College and its students …
Photography (having produced over 800 glass plate images and over 2,000 photographs) and; the establishment of an Alumni Association to insure continued support of Saint Louis College by its proud graduates.
Here is a link to some of his photographs: https://goo.gl/DmJVWc
His perseverance and single-mindedness helped form the Saint Louis Alumni Association (“SLAA”) which was formally incorporated on June 27, 1907, only a few short years after Brother Bertram’s departure from our Islands. (St Louis Alumni)
In 1923, they purchased 205 acres at Kalaepōhaku in Kaimuki; classes began there in 1928. After sixty-seven-years of providing education at grade levels one through twelve, the elementary and intermediate grades were withdrawn one-grade-a-year, beginning in 1950.
In 1955, the Marianists established Chaminade College on the east end of the Kalaepōhaku campus (it was initially named the Saint Louis Junior College; with it, Saint Louis College was renamed to Saint Louis High School.)
In 1957, Saint Louis Junior College became co-educational and a four-year college and the school was renamed to Chaminade College of Honolulu (named after the Society of Mary (Marianists) founder.)
St. Louis’ high school classes continued on campus until 1979, when the school’s Board of Trustees voted to re-incorporate intermediate grades seven and eight, beginning in fall, 1980. A sixth grade was added and the intermediate grades were then converted to a middle school beginning with the fall semester of 1990.