Under the leadership of our fourth pastor, Father James Donohue, Saint Mary’s School opened in September of 1898 and was dedicated by the second bishop of Springfield, Thomas Daniel Beaven. There were 150 children enrolled in the school and they were taught by five Sisters of Saint Joseph.
A high school was added to the school the following year when a student named Nellie Roache insisted that she wanted to remain at St. Mary’s to finish her education. In 1903, she became our first graduate.
With increased enrollment and a demand for more space over the ensuing years, the third story of the present elementary school building was added in 1914. The 1930’s and 1940’s saw a tremendous growth in the school population and the classrooms were filled to capacity. While the nation witnessed the demise of so many Catholic schools during the late 1960’s and 1970’s, Saint Mary’s continued to flourish.
In 1963, our ninth pastor, Monsignor George Shea, bought the Westfield Trade School which was next door to the elementary school and it became Saint Mary’s High School. As a further sign of its commitment to Catholic education, a Kindergarten program was added in 1979. In 2007, a four-year-old pre-school program was added, followed by a three-year-old program in 2012.
In the fall of 2013, Saint Mary’s Parish School was born as the elementary and high schools merged under one administration. By joining both schools together, Saint Mary’s returns to its founding principle of providing a comprehensive education to students of all ages in one community.
For over 115 years, the school has produced outstanding students who have brought tremendous pride and glory to our school in every field of endeavor. Graduates from our school have succeeded in public service, industry, business, education, medicine, and politics. Saint Mary’s Parish and School have provided the Church with 22 priests and 38 religious sisters.
Though small in size, Saint Mary’s is magnanimous in spirit. The current administration and faculty seek to uphold that fine tradition and spirit which is Saint Mary’s. Saint Mary’s can further boast that it is the only parish in the Diocese of Springfield to have a school that educates students from early pre-school through high school.