A Renaissance in Catholic Education During Annual Catholic Schools Week

February 8, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

New Choices. More Scholarships. Stronger Schools.

ST. LOUIS - As the Archdiocese of St. Louis celebrated Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4), it ushered in a new era—a renaissance in Catholic education—for its schools in the City of St. Louis and, eventually, throughout the archdiocese.

The name of this first partnership school, South City Catholic Academy, was announced January 29, the start of Catholic Schools Week, to a very large and excited group who had been eagerly awaiting the announcement. South City Catholic Academy is the combination of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Joan of Arc Schools and is located in the previous St. Joan of Arc school location.

“I have been very pleased to see parents and parishioners collaborating and building strong partnerships to create a new school that will ensure long-term, high-quality Catholic education for their children,” stated Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

These partnership schools will stress academic excellence and strong Catholic formation for children; affordability for families and parishes; in locations accessible to and meeting needs of families in neighborhoods; and the efficient and effective use of resources, with educational and religious educational programs of similar quality in all of the schools.

“Over the past year, new energy has been put into preparing a plan for schools in the City of St. Louis. Combined with new financial resources from gifts to the Beyond Sunday campaign, existing resources from the Today and Tomorrow Foundation and the Annual Catholic Appeal and new leadership for Catholic Schools from the Catholic Education Office, there is new life in our schools,” said Maureen DePriest, Associate Superintendent for Elementary School Administration and Director of City Catholic Elementary Schools.

St. James the Greater grade school, originally included in the partnership school plan, will remain open as a parish-based elementary school at its site for the 2017-18 school year.  After a significant anonymous donation was made to keep the school open, a memorandum of understanding was entered into by St. James the Greater Parish and the Archdiocese of St. Louis allowing the school to operate as a parish-based school for the next school year. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will not be providing any operating grants to the school after the 2016-17 school year and the school will have to have significant ongoing development efforts in order to balance its budget every year.

As the Archdiocese of St. Louis approaches its 200th anniversary in 2018 of providing Catholic education in St. Louis, it continues to work toward ushering in a new era—a renaissance in Catholic education.

“The vision of having various school models, other than just parish parochial schools, is one way the Archdiocese of St. Louis can provide resources, personnel and funding necessary to ensure that all educational and religious education programs in all of the schools throughout the city are of similar quality,” stated Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. “Introducing this new school model will provide the necessary leadership, support and direction at the school level to maintain quality Catholic schools for our children and for the next 200 years of Catholic education in St. Louis.”

For more information about the renaissance in Catholic education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, visit archstl.org/renaissance.