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St. Paul Catholic

The first three Sisters of Mercy arrived at Pass Christian in 1870.  Their first school enrollment was a total of 30 girls.

The "Second" Parish Church replaced the older one in 1879 due to a devastating fire in 1876.  The new Church was dedicated to St. Paul by Father Georget.

In 1920, St. Joseph's School celebrated its Golden Jubilee.  The panoramic photos below depict the early history of Catholicism in Pass Christian and the Diocese by signaling each Pastor and each Bishop and even costumed Indians and the brothers Iberville and Bienville.

1925 - Kindergarten class was started    
1929 - Cornerstone placed for new brick school building
1929 - Bishop Gerow dedicated new two-story brick building.
1929 - Program began to allow lower income students to enroll
1956 - Dedication of new Gymnasium\Auditorium at Second Street
1960 - Highschool grades discontinued due to low enrollment
1963 - School name changed from St Joseph Acad. to St Paul Elementary School
1963 - Ground breaking for new, modern school building
1963 - New school building addition dedicated
1964 - New 8-classroom building dedicated by Auxiliary Bishop Brunini on May 4
          (First air-conditioned elementary school in Mississippi)
1966 - St Paul School celebrated its Centennial (erroneous start date used)
1967 - Sisters of Mercy ended their service commission
1970 - St Paul School opened with Adele Bielenberg as its first Lay principal
1983 - Computer Training was introduced
1985 - Kindergarten classes initiated.
1986 - New Auditorium/Gymnasium built
1988 - The Henry J. Ritayik Memorial Library was dedicated.
1995 - Computer Laboratory with 15 new computers installed.

Note:    Former Pass Christian resident Henry J. Ritayik left a major portion of his enormous estate to churches and charities of which St. Paul Catholic Church was willed 28% as determined in 1981.    Although a multimillionaire leading a miserly and reclusive lifestyle, Ritayik established a vast land acquisition program which approximated $15 million dollars in assets.  The St. Paul Elementary School dedicated its Student Library in Ritayik's honor.

St. Paul Official Site

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