Today, the Springfield Catholic School System continues its long tradition of rigorous pursuits in academics, athletics, and the arts within a caring, Christian community. Springfield Catholic School system can trace its early roots to 1866 when Father Graham from Rolla, Missouri, celebrated Springfield’s first Catholic Mass, and then became the pastor of Springfield’s first Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception. The Sisters of Mercy ran the first Catholic School in the area, Mount Saint Mary’s Academy for young ladies from 1870-1875.
From 1882 through 1916, the Catholic population in the Springfield area continued to grow and other Catholic parishes such as Sacred Heart, St. Joseph, and St. Agnes were established.
In 1916, St. Agnes began offering a four-year high school program and in 1936 Father James Hally moved the high school to the Sebree house. Under his guidance the Notre Dame mascot became the high school’s official mascot. Funds raised in the memory of Father Hally built a new school at St. Agnes in 1956 and it became St. Agnes Regional High School.
In 1971 discussions began on the formation of a citywide parochial school system. St. Agnes High School then became Springfield Catholic High School, and in 1974 the schools were officially consolidated.
In 1986 parents and friends of Springfield Catholic Schools envisioned a larger more modern high school to meet the needs of a growing school population. This vision became a reality when Bishop John Leibrecht dedicated the new high school at South Eastgate and Berkeley. Today the school system continues to thrive, with the addition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School.
Just as the Sisters of Mercy provided for the educational needs of the children and the Church in the 1870’s, Springfield Catholic Schools continue to serve the needs of children and the Church. Springfield Catholic Schools is comprised of over 1270 students, 100 faculty members, and four supporting parishes: St. Agnes, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Holy Trinity and Immaculate Conception.