Archbishop Williams High School is an independent, Catholic, college preparatory, grades 7-12 school. We endeavor to educate young men and women spiritually, intellectually, ethically, and physically. Driven by the love of Christ, in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, we integrate learning with faith. We strive to graduate socially aware, morally responsible citizens prepared to succeed and to serve their local and global communities.
The school seal of Archbishop Williams shows the pelican, an early Christian symbol of Christ the Redeemer. Its meaning is derived from the “Physiologus” which told of the pelican drawing blood from its own breast to feed its young. To Christians this is a symbol of the Blessed Sacrament in which Christ feeds us on His own most precious Body and Blood. The words, “Caritas Christi Urget Nos,” express the whole reason for our existence as Catholic Christians dedicated to the apostolate of teaching. It translates to "The love of Christ drives us on" or it is alternatively translated as "the love of Christ impels us."
The school seal and motto are the seal and motto of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. This community of sisters opened and staffed Archbishop Williams High School at the request of the late Richard Cardinal Cushing in September, 1949. Archbishop Williams High School’s superior reputation as a Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school is largely due to the dedication and commitment of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Archbishop Williams High School bears the name of a great spiritual leader, the Most Reverend John Joseph Williams (1822-1907), fourth Bishop and first Archbishop of Boston. Archbishop Williams was born in the North End of Boston on April 27, 1822. He attended the parochial school attached to the old Cathedral of the Holy Cross. At the age of eleven he entered the seminary. He was ordained by the Bishop of Paris on May 17, 1845.
On his return to Boston, Father Williams carried on his apostolic work at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Cathedral, and the Church of Saint James. In 1857, he was raised to the rank of Bishop and assumed the rule of the Boston diocese. In 1885, the pallium of an archbishop was conferred on the Most Reverend John Joseph Williams and Boston was raised to the status of an archdiocese.
For forty-one years, Archbishop Williams served the people of the Archdiocese where he achieved an outstanding record in the development of the Catholic parochial school system. Therefore, on November 25, 1945, when His Eminence Cardinal Cushing laid the cornerstone and blessed the new Archdiocesan high school in Braintree, he acknowledged the work of his predecessor by naming the school in his honor. He also recognized the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who would direct and staff the school. On September 12, 1949, Archbishop Williams High School was officially opened. Under the guidance of the Sisters, the school flourished. Their order’s motto, “The love of Christ urges us on”, from 2 Corinthians 5:14:21, became its guiding force. The school uses the phrase, “The love of Christ drives us on,” which is an alternate translation. Over the years, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, as well as dedicated lay people, have enthusiastically committed their lives to Cardinal Cushing’s vision of an affordable Catholic education.
As of school year 2004-2005, the name was altered to Archbishop Williams High School, Inc. to reflect its independent governance status with a Board of Trustees. The school reached another milestone in 2014-2015 when it opened its seventh and eighth grade.