Our History

St. Paul the Apostle School celebrates more than 50 years of educating thousands of children in the community of Westerville.  Many have been associated with our school and parish for many years. The "Book of Dedication" dated January 28, 1962 details the early days of the school's mission. "On this memorable occasion of the dedication of the new school, our interest is fittingly centered on the beginnings of the Parish's school. Yet as a token of gratitude to the Priests and faithful, many of whom have gone to their eternal reward, who dreamed dreams of what has now become for us a reality, we give this brief outline of the Parish history." The history of St. Paul Parish as written in this book falls into three stages: as a Mission; as a Parish; as a Parish with a school. 
 children
The mission began when in the spring of 1913, the Most Reverend James J. Hartley, D.D., then Bishop of Columbus, made a request for a mission to be established in Westerville. The first Mass was celebrated in September of 1913 in a room at 10½ College Avenue. The mission was named under the patronage of St. Paul the Apostle. Fr. Conrad Conrardy, professor on the faculty of the Josephinum College in Columbus, soon assumed the care of St. Paul Parish for the next 16 years. This established a long enduring relationship between St. Paul and the Josephinum.
 
The Capuchin Fathers arrived to assume the duties of St. Paul Mission in June, 1931 at the invitation of Bishop Hartley. A residence belonging to the Gary Meeker family was purchased and converted into a monastery. In the same month Father Aloysius, O.F.M.Cap. began the building of the first church. The church was dedicated by Bishop Hartley on Sunday, November 7, 1931. It was shortly thereafter that the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from St. Joseph's Academy began giving religious instruction to the children of the parish. At this time in history the number of Catholics in Westerville was small. In 1947 there were only three boys in a Catholic grade school and not one girl. That being said, there were only 19 boys in the public grades and 11 girls.  In1948 Father Donald Shearer, O.F.M.Cap. purchased a station wagon and began transporting 16 children to Immaculate conception School in Columbus. Two years later these students attended St. James the Less School. Slowly but surely the number of children attending Catholic schools increased. In 1951, 68 children from St. Paul Parish were attending St. Peter's and 40 students were attending public schools.
 
Ground was broken for the construction of a parish school on March 5, of 1961 in what was described as a heavy rain storm. The Sisters of Notre Dame arrived on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 22, and quickly made themselves at home and prepared the organization of the school. It was decided that all eight grades would open, which at this period in time was a unique feature in the opening of a new school. And so, on September 6, 1961, 218 children walked through the doors of the new St. Paul the Apostle School. It was described as the happiest day in the history of St. Paul.
 
Fifty years later, on August 24, 2011, 825 students proudly walked through the doors of our St. Paul School full of the same excitement and love of learning and God that those first 218 students felt on the opening day of school. Our students celebrated the first all school Mass in our beautiful new church on August 31, 2011, marking another glorious milestone in the rich history of our St. Paul School and Parish.
 
Many things have been written since that day back in 1961 including many additions to the school facility and changes in administration, teachers, priests, and staff. The goal of St. Paul school however remains the same ñ to provide a Christ-centered learning environment that challenges each child to strive for the highest possible level of spiritual and academic formation. We begin the 2011-2012 school year with the same spirit and commitment to Christ-centered teaching, living, and learning that began 50 years ago with the tireless efforts of those who wanted to give all the children in the parish the benefits of a Catholic education.