About Charles J. Delone, Esq.
Inaugural Induction Class
The first inductee of the Delone Catholic Hall of Honor is the man who gave his name to our school. Charles J. Delone was a true leader in the greater Hanover community and in its Catholic community. He was a member of numerous civic organizations in Hanover. He was a trustee of the Paradise Protectory, and Mr. Delone was a member of the Hanover Council of the Knights of Columbus and of the St. Joseph’s Parish Roman Catholic Beneficial Society.
For Delone Catholic High School, his greatest contribution was the gift that made the founding of the school possible. For more than 75 years, his name has lived on despite his not having any direct descendants. It was initially Mr. Delone’s intention, however, to not place his name on this school. At the laying of the cornerstone on Nov. 5, 1939, Most Rev. George L. Leech, Fifth Bishop of Harrisburg, cited a “sincere and unfeigned desire on the part of Mr. Delone that his benefaction might remain anonymous.” Bishop Leech further explained why he asked Mr. Delone to reconsider.
He said, “There are times, however, when the most high-minded personal wishes may properly and profitably yield in order that they may serve the cause of many. And because the donation of this high school building is a fine example to the laity of the Diocese of Harrisburg and a source of genuine edification, showing as it does what our people ought to do with their worldly possessions which they have received from God as the stewards of God, I have asked the donor of this building to allow the name of his family and his forbears to be associated with this building in order that he and they may be perpetually remembered in the prayers of those who throughout the future years will come to profit by his priceless benefaction, and so I am very happy to announce to you now that this new institution will be known as the ‘Delone Catholic High School’.”
It was especially appropriate that Bishop Leech called for the community to perpetually remember the Delone family in prayer because less than three months later, Mr. Delone passed away, never seeing the completion of his gift.
At the school’s dedication on Sept. 2, 1940, Bishop Leech said, “Mr. Charles J. Delone, through whose munificence this building has been erected, loved his church, his country and his fellow man. The means he chose to show that love is the wisest means, as years will prove when the graduates of Delone Catholic High School take their places in church, and nation and local communities. He did this deed for God and his fellow man.”
This building will always be a memorial to Mr. Delone, but more importantly, the lives of faith, service and achievement lived by the school’s students and alumni, will serve as a perpetual tribute to his generosity. For these reasons, Charles J. Delone is the first inductee of the Delone Catholic High School Hall of Honor.