The school's history and the several changes in campus location it has undergone are succinctly summarized in a Texas Historical Marker on the east lawn of Central's present facility at 1403 North Saint Mary's Street, only a mile from its original location and within a stone's throw of the river:
"This school originated at a time when San Antonio lacked a boys' school of any kind. Bishop Jean-Marie Odin obtained teachers in France from the Society of Mary: Nicholas Koenig, Jean-Baptiste Laignounse, and Xavier Mauclerc. Andrew Edel, another Marianist from Ohio, was the principal. San Antonio layman Timothy O'Neil also joined the staff. The school opened March 25, 1852, in two rooms over a livery stable near San Fernando Cathedral. During that winter, the Brothers erected a building near the San Antonio River. 'Saint Mary's Institute' occupied that campus on March 1, 1853, and ended the school year with 100 pupils of various creeds. Enrolled as day students were Anglo, French, German, and Mexican-Americans. South Texas ranch boys attended as boarders. After expanding that building, the Brothers erected others, including a four-story 'skyscraper' unique for the 1870's. St. Mary's University was an outgrowth in 1893. After several changes of names and facilities, Central Catholic High School, in 1932, become another successor of the pioneer effort."
Throughout its history, Central Catholic has earned renown as an academic and spiritual leader in values-based education. As a result, through seven generations of graduates, Central Catholic has provided the community with men achieving what is truly good in their roles as citizens. Graduates include doctors, teachers, priests and deacons, businessmen, lawyers, military and political leaders.