Catholic Schools

catholic school St. LouisSt Louis has a long, proud tradition of Catholic schools serving the metro area. With over 2 million students, and 6,980 schools in the U.S., Catholic schools make up the largest non-public school system in the U.S.. With over 331 fully private schools, Catholic schools make up the largest sector of private and privately funded school systems and include K-12 to college education. The history of Catholic schools in the U.S. is a complex one, dating back to before standard records or even accreditation was required of schools, and dating back to the early days of colonists and missionaries in America.

Most historians agree that the first true Catholic schools were opened in Louisiana and Maryland,  but the first Catholic school was opened in 1606 in St. Augustine Florida by local Missionaries. and history suggests that Catholic teaching was prevalent at all missionaries even before this early date, making the Catholic teaching institution much older than the U.S. government itself. In 1727, the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula opened the first continually operated school for girls in the U.S., the Ursuline Academy, which was also open to black women, and completely free of charge. In 1789, the Georgetown University opened in Washington D.C. as the first true Catholic School, and remains open today.  It wasn’t until 1810 that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton garnered the support of Archbishop John Carrol to open the first Parochial school in Emmetsburg, MD, which was the second official Catholic school. Colonial areas, especially Spanish and French colonies, all had their own local schools, which were often run by the local priests or missionaries. Wealthy families sent their children to be schooled by Ursuline’s or other nuns.

St. Louis Catholic High Schools

St. Louis Catholic Schools Phone Number Attributes Location 
 Annunziata  314-997-7727  Catholic  West County
 Barat Academy  636-300-5500  Private Catholic  Chesterfield
Catholic high school St. Louis Dubourg St. Louis Bishop DuBourg  314-832-3030  Coed, Catholic  St Louis Hills
 Cardinal Ritter  314-446-5500  Coed, Catholic  St Louis City
 Chaminade  314-993-4400  All Boys, Catholic  West County
 Christian Brothers College High School  314-985-6100  All Boys, Catholic  West County
 Cor Jesu  314-842-1546  All Girls, Catholic  South County
 De Smet Jesuit  314-567-3500  All Boys  West County
 Duchesne  636-946-6767  Coed, Catholic  St Charles
 Governor French Academy  314-233-7543  Private  Belleville
 Incarnate Word  314-725-5850  All girls, Catholic  Central County
 Nerinx Hall 314-968-1505  All girls, Catholic Webster Groves
 Notre Dame  314-544-1015 All Girls, Catholic  South County
 Rosati Kain  314-533-8513  All Girls, Catholic  St Louis city
 St Dominic’s  636-272-6277  Coed, Catholic  West County
 St Joseph’s 314-394-3400  All Girls, Catholic  West County
 St Louis Christian Academy  314-664-3299  Coed, Christian  St Louis City
 St Louis Priory  314-434-3690  All Boys, Catholic  West County
 St Louis University High School  314-531-0330  All Boys, Jesuit  St Louis City
 St Mary’s  314-481-8100  All Boys, Catholic  St Louis City
 Trinity  314-741-1333  Coed, Catholic  North County
 Ursuline  314-984-2800  All Girls, Catholic  Central County
 Vianney  314-965-4843  All Boys,  Kirkwood
 Villa Duchesne  314-432-2021  All Girls, Catholic  West County
 Visitation  314-625-9100  All Girls Catholic  West County

St. Louis Catholic Elementary – Middle Schools

School Name Phone Number Attributes Location
 All Saints School  636-397-1477  Catholic  St Peters
 Ascension  636-532-1151  Catholic  West County
 Assumption  636-240-4474  Catholic  St Charles
 Assumption  314-487-6520  Catholic  South County
 Bishop Healy  314-367-9656  Catholic  St Louis City
Cathedral Basilica  314-373-8250  Catholic  St Louis City
 Central Catholic Academy  314-231-6254  Catholic  St Louis City
 Chaminade  314-993-4400  Catholic  West County
Christ the King  314-725-5855  Catholic  University City
 Christ, Light of the Nations  314-731-0400  Catholic  North County
 Christ Prince of Peace  636-394-6840  Catholic  West County
De La Salle Middle School  314-531-9820  Catholic  St Louis City
 Holy Child School  636-296-0055  Catholic  Arnold
 Holy Infant  636-227-0802  Catholic  Ballwin
Holy Redeemer School  314-962-8989  Catholic  Webster Groves
Holy Spirit School  314-730-1934  Catholic  Maryland Heights
Holy Trinity  314-426-8966  Catholic  North County
 Immacolata School 314-991-5700  Catholic  Clayton
Immaculate Conception  636-561-4450  Catholic  Arnold
Immaculate Heart of Mary 314-832-1678  Catholic  St Louis
Incarnate Word Elementary  314-576-5366  Catholic  West County
 Little Flower  314-781-4995  Catholic  Central County
 Linda Vista School  636-532-3315  Catholic  Ballwin
 Loyola Academy  314-531-9091  Catholic  St Louis
 Marian Middle School  314-771-7674  Catholic  St Louis
Mary Queen of Peace  314-961-2891  Catholic  Webster
 Miriam School  314-968-5225  Learning Disabilities  Webster
Most Holy Trinity 314-231-9014  Catholic  North City
Notre Dame Elementary 314-544-1015  Catholic  South County
Our Lady of Guadalupe 314-524-1948  Catholic  Florissant
Our Lady of Lourdes 314-726-3352  Catholic  Clayton
Our Lady of The Pillar 314-993-3353  Catholic  South County
Our Lady of Providence 314-842-2073  Catholic  Central County
Queen of All Saints 314-846-0506  Catholic  South County
St Alban Roe 636-458-6084  Catholic  West County
St Ambrose School 314-772-1437  Catholic  St Louis City
St Angela Merici 314-831-8012  Catholic  North County
 St Bridget of Kildare 636-257-4533  Catholic  West County
St Catherine Laboure 314-843-2819  Catholic  South County
St Cecilia 314-353-2455  Catholic  St Louis City
St Charles Borromeo 636-946-2713  Catholic  St Charles
St Claire of Assisi 636-227-8654  Catholic  West County
St Clement 314-822-1903  Catholic  West County
St Cletus 636-946-7756  Catholic  St Charles
 St Dominic Savio 314-832-4161  Catholic  Central County
St Elizabeth 636-946-6716  Catholic  Central County
St Ferdinand 314-921-2201  Catholic  North St Louis
St Frances Cabrini  314-776-0883  Catholic  St Louis City
 St Francis Borgia  636-239-2590  Catholic  Washington, MO
St Francis of Assisi  314-776-0883  Catholic  South County
St Gabriel’s  314-353-1229  Catholic  St Louis City
St Genevieve Dubois  314-821-4245  Catholic  West County
St Gerard Majella 314-822-8844  Catholic  South County
St Joan of Arc RIP 314-752-4171  Catholic  St Louis City
St Joseph Institute for the Deaf 636-532-3211  Catholic  Central County
St Joseph (St Charles) 636-441-0055  Catholic  St Charles
St Joseph Imperial 636-464-9027  Catholic  Jefferson County
St Joseph Wentzville  636-332-5672  Catholic  St Charles
St Joseph Manchester 636-391-1253  Catholic  West County
St Justin Martyr 314-843-6447  Catholic  West County
 St Katherine Drexel 314-353-1451  Catholic  St Louis City
St Louis Catholic Academy 314-389-0401  Catholic  North St Louis
 St Margaret Mary Alacoque 314-487-1666  Catholic  South County
St Margaret of Scotland 314-776-7837  Catholic  Shaw Neighborhood
St Mark’s 314-743-8640  Catholic  Affton
St Martin of Tours 314-544-5793  Catholic  Lemay
St Mary Magdalen 314-961-0149  Catholic  St. Louis City
St Michael’s 314-647-7159  Catholic  Shrewsbury
St Monica 314.434-2173  Catholic  Creve Coeur
St Norbert 314-839-0948  Catholic  Florissant
St Patrick 636-332-9036  Catholic  Wentzville
St Paul 636-343-4333  Catholic  Fenton
 St Peter’s (Kirkwood) 314-821-0460  Catholic  Kirkwood
St. Peter’s (St Charles) 636-947-9669  Catholic  St Charles
St Raphael’s 314-352-9474  Catholic  St Louis City
 St Richard’s 314-872-3152  Catholic  West County
St Roch 314.721,2595  Catholic  St Louis City
 St Rose 314-921-3023  Catholic  Florissant
St Sabina 314-837-6524  Catholic  Florissant
St Simon 314-842-0181  Catholic  South County
St Stephen 314-752-4700  Catholic  St Louis City
St Theodore 636-639-1385  Catholic  Flint, MO
 Seven Holy Founders 314-631-8149  Catholic  St Louis City

Early History of Catholic Schools in the U.S.

Parochial Schools: The heavy wave of Irish Catholic immigrants in the early 1800s resulted in an anti-Catholic public sentiment and the eventual ban of tax money being used for Catholic schools, as many Americans were of the opinion that Irish children should attend public schools in order to be Americanized. The result was a series of parochial schools funded by the Parish and parents, which not only taught Catholic religion to students, but also culture, values, and advanced language usage, not always found in public schools. The result was that many well-to-do families began sending their children to Catholic tuition as well, for increased learning and cultural studies.

Rise of the Diocese School System: Between 1852 and the 1860s, St. John Neopomacene Neumann founded the diocesan school system in the U.S. At the same time, Archbishop John Hughes founded a Catholic School system in New York City, and Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart established schools in Washington, allowing for Catholic education around the U.S.

Mandatory Catholic Schooling: In 1884, U.S. Bishops at the First Plenary Council of Baltimore decided that every Parish should have a Catholic school, allowing churchgoers a place to study away from potentially Protestant teachers at public schools. By 1904, that goal had been realized, and the National Catholic Education Association was founded in St. Louis Missouri.
Oregon Compulsory Education Act: In 1922, Oregon Citizens attempted to vote to remove all parochial schools including Catholic schools and to make public education mandatory. The result was a nationwide organization as Catholic parents rallied for their rights to send their students to schools of their choosing. The Pierce v. Society of Sisters ruling in 1952 defended Catholic schools and rendered the Oregon Compulsory Education Act unconstitutional, and has since been called “The Magna Carta of the Parochial School System”. The act was an important one for establishing the legitimacy of parochial and Catholic schools in America.

Rise to Popularity: The demand for Catholic and private education continued to grow, and middle class and wealthy families consistently chose to send their children to Catholic schools. By the 1960s, Catholic Schools made up roughly 82% of private school enrollments, with roughly 5 million students enrolled, in grades ranging from kindergarten to university level. Catholic universities ranged from the original Georgetown University to renowned colleges like Sacred Heart University, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Notre Dame University.

Today: While the roughly 2 million students attending Catholic schools in the U.S. today is nowhere near the number at the peak of Catholic education, Catholic schools still make up a strong part of the U.S. educational system. With thousands of students at every grade level, and some of the most prominent universities in the world, Catholic education is a strong draw for both American students, and international ones looking for a safe place to study abroad, or to study in English.