Providing Catholic Education for the 21st Century
Community of Saints represents a new model for Catholic education. We have united the parishes and school traditions of St. John Vianney, St. Matthew’s, St. Michael’s and Our Lady of Guadalupe, to provide a faith centered, academically rigorous school experience that is accessible to families from all income levels and welcoming to those from diverse ethnicities and family experiences. History of Community of Saints Regional Catholic SchoolCommunity of Saints Regional Catholic School was founded in 2012 and is the result of a partnership among four parishes located in St. Paul’s West Side, West St. Paul and South St. Paul. Three of the four parishes had operated their own Catholic elementary schools prior to partnering on COS, and cumulatively have over 300 years of experience providing Catholic education.Community of Saints’ four parish partners include:
Our Lady of Guadaulpe, St. Paul – Founded in 1931 for Mexican immigrants, OLG is a thriving parish that serves the Latino community throughout the twin cities metro area. The parish, which is a pillar of the West Side’s Latino community, offers Masses in Spanish and English, and is a strong advocate for social justice and immigrants’ rights.St. John Vianney Parish & School, South St. Paul – SJV was founded in 1945 to accommodate the growing SSP community. Ten years later, the Chicago-based Sisters of Casimir launched Providence School to accommodate the boom in school age children. The School Sisters of Notre Dame later took over the school’s operation and the name was eventually changed to St. John Vianney School, offering children a Catholic education from pre-K through 6th grade.St. Matthew Parish & School, St. Paul – Founded in 1886 as a German parish, a school was launched in the church basement one year later by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. After a school was built and expanded, the student population swelled to 1000 students in the late 1950s. In recent years, St. Matthew’s has become known for its commitment to social justice and has partnered with a number of organizations to serve the community including: Loaves & Fishes, St. Mary’s Free Health Clinic and Casa Guadalupana, a Catholic worker house.St. Michael Parish & School, West St. Paul – St. Michael’s was founded in 1866, as a Mission Church by Archbishop John Ireland, who was then pastor of the Cathedral. Located on the West Side flats, it was the first church on the west side of the river, which was home to a growing immigrant population. St. Michael’s, long known as the Irish Catholic parish, launched a school in 1884 which was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. St. Michael’s Parish remained on the flats until 1954 when it built a new church and school in West St. Paul. St. Michael’s original tower, now called Torre de San Miguel, still stands in tribute to the first church site.Ensuring a Sustainable Model for Catholic EducationIn 2011, the Archdiocese formed a Regional School Committee made up of members of the four parishes and their schools. The committee was charged with assessing the future needs and resources available for Catholic education in the region and developing a sustainable model for the future. In its report, the committee proposed moving away from parish-sponsored schools and combining the three existing schools into one entity that offered Preschool through 8th grade education.Community of Saints was established in 2012 as a result of this initiative. It is the first of several regional schools created in the archdiocese since then.Diverse School Builds Future LeadersCOS has brought together the many traditions, values and cultures of the four parishes that are its sponsors. The result is a rich mix that truly reflects the diversity of the community ethnically and economically, as well as presenting different traditions within the Catholic faith. By engaging students in a multi-faceted and multi-cultural school environment, they learn to appreciate and value diversity and are better prepared to assume a leadership role in addressing the challenges of a diverse world community.