Name changes are not always welcome with open arms.

Donovan Catholic High School (Donovan Catholic)

It was not all that long ago residents of what was then Dover Township voted to change their name to Toms River.  Clearly it made sense for many reasons but there were still those very upset.

Ocean County’s only Catholic high school announced this week they were changing their name and it has sparked some controversy from those vehemently opposed to it.  Effective this week Monsignor Donovan High School is out and Donovan Catholic is in.  It’s actually the third name for the school on Hooper Avenue in Toms River which was St. Joseph’s High School from 1962-1983 before being re-named after its beloved founder Monsignor Lawrence Donovan.

While I personally like the new name I can understand how some would be opposed, especially those currently enrolled in the school.  I read this week about a senior who was upset because he owns a varsity jacket that says Monsignor Donovan on it which is no longer the name of the school.  I get that but this change is not nearly as drastic as it was for someone in the early 80’s that had a jacket with the name St. Joseph’s on it.

As the saying goes the only constant in life is change and this is a change which school and parish officials believe is reflective of the times we live in.  In truth the new name still honors the late Monsignor Donovan while at the same time making it clear what type of school it is.

Many might wonder about the status of the shortened name often used for the school: Mon Don.  My guess is that one will last for a while but eventually it too will be part of the past.

While the school has a new tagline, “It Makes a Difference” the name change is not so drastic that is should divide those who call themselves Griffins.  My wife and her two sisters are graduates of St. Joseph’s High School and in time they learned to accept the change and did not tear up their diplomas and I would imagine the same will be true for those who graduated last month.

As for the incoming seniors, take pride in knowing you are truly special and will be the first graduates of Donovan Catholic.And don’t worry about the varsity jacket, it’s still cool.

By the way the Griffins Basketball Association will hold their 6th annual “Golf with the Gepper” fundraiser on Thursday, August 14th at Eagle Ridge Golf Club. They will use the event to honor Rita Kearney and Sister Jean Spina, two women who each devoted over 40 years to the school and parish community.  For information on the day-long event call Ray at (732) 600-0231.