Monsignor Farrell High School was founded as a result of the drive for high schools conducted in the Archdiocese of New York under the late Francis Cardinal Spellman. Twenty acres of land were then purchased in the Oakwood Heights section of Staten Island. In a letter dated October 28, 1959, Francis Cardinal Spellman, the Archbishop of New York, congratulated Monsignor Joseph Farrell, pastor of St. Peter's in New Brighton, on the 60th anniversary of his ordination. He also informed Monsignor Farrell that“the next high school built on Staten Island will bear your honored name.”The groundbreaking ceremonies in April 1961 signaled the beginning of construction. Sadly, Monsignor Farrell had died some 10 months before.During this time, a class of 113 boys and 5 teachers began school in an annex of Saint Sylvester’s School in Concord in September 1961 under the direction of Monsignor John Considine as Supervising Principal and Brother Harold Delaney as Brother Principal. Monsignor Farrell High School’s Oakwood campus, still under construction, welcomed its first students, which now consisted of sophomores and a new class of freshmen, on September 10, 1962.
According tp Metropolis Magazine, Monsignor Farrell High School is one of the 10 buildings that helped define modernism in New York City.