Hales Franciscan High School is the successor to Corpus Christi High School.  Opened in 1946, Corpus Christi was a K-12 school located at 46th and South Parkway Avenue (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.) started by the Franciscans of the Sacred Heart Province.

The Franciscans are a Catholic religious order founded in the 13th century who follow St. Francis of Assisi. His teachings require followers to dedicate their lives to poverty, chastity, obedience, and the good of their fellow man as well as to commit themselves to social justice and the needs of the poor. 

Initially Corpus Christi was coed and jointly operated by the Franciscan Priests of the Sacred Heart and the Franciscan Sisters from Dubuque. The school became all male in 1957 when the Sisters left to embark on new missions.  Hales_Building Photo_in_May_2015

The land at 49th Street and Cottage Grove Ave., where Hales Franciscan High School resides today, became available when the Sisters of Mercy moved St. Xavier College to a new Chicago location.  The Archdiocese of Chicago made the land available to the Franciscans after they closed Corpus Christi to open Hales Franciscan in order to continue their mission of educating young, African-American males at a time when there were few opportunities for them to receive a quality, private school education.  Hales Franciscan is named after Alexander of Hales, a Franciscan scholar from the Middle Ages

Mayor Richard J. Daley and Msgr. William McManus laid the cornerstone at the school on September 8, 1961 and Hales Franciscan opened to young men in 1962.

The school’s motto is In Virum Perfectum, which means Unto Perfect Manhood. The school’s mascot is the Spartan and its colors are scarlet red, black and white.