St. Odilia School History
The Parish of St. Odilia was founded in 1960. The Crosier Fathers and Brothers from Onamia, Minnesota agreed to staff the new parish in Shoreview. Because of a growing need and desire for Catholic Education in this newly developed suburban area, the Archbishop asked that a school be built before a church building was erected.
Father Leo Kapphahn, OSC was our first pastor. One of his first tasks was to find a Religious Community of Sisters to staff the new school. He got into his car and told his associate that he would not be returning until he found Sisters to teach in the school. His quest led him finally to Dubuque, Iowa where the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary agreed to staff our school.
The first Mass was held in the gymnasium of the school on Christmas Eve in 1961 and by the fall of 1962, the school was ready to open with a wing of sixteen classrooms. Four Presentation Sisters and several dedicated lay teachers welcomed 480 students in grades 2-6 on September 4, 1962. Classroom size was set for 40 students! For two years, the Sisters lived in two of the classrooms. It wasn't long until there was a need for more classrooms so a second wing of the school was added in 1966. Eventually grades 7 and 8 were added, as well as 1st grade and finally a kindergarten and preschool.
The Presentation Sisters served our school until 1990. At that time three Benedictine Sisters from St. Paul Monastery came to St. Odilia. It was this Community that Father Leo first contacted in 1960! They were unable to staff our school at that time, but they were to be the last presence of religious Sisters in the school, leaving in 2007. From the very beginning, St. Odilia School has also been staffed by a committed staff of dedicated Catholic lay men and women.
Through the years, St. Odilia School has consistently stayed current in its academics, technology, fine arts and athletic endeavors. Education of the whole child involves body, mind and spirit. Our society and culture has changed dramatically since 1962. In spite of this, St. Odilia School has remained firmly grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is lived out in the Roman Catholic tradition. St. Odilia School has always been an integral part of the mission of our Parish Community. In keeping with this mission, parents, students and staff are continually involved in a wide variety of outreach opportunities focused on service, justice and inclusion.
Since 1962, St. Odilia School has boldly proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Parents, students, faculty and staff are frequently challenged to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in our world. This mission is fueled and nourished daily in our school community by developing a clear Catholic Identity through prayer, reflection and the sacramental life of the Church.