STS. PETER & PAUL PAROCHIAL SCHOOL
For 52 years of its history, our parish was truly blessed with a special treasure. That was our parochial school. Children of the parish were educated daily in the "three Rs" (reading, 'riting, and 'rthmetic).
But that education was also infused with daily expositions of our Catholic faith and our Polish heritage. Students at Sts. Peter & Paul School were instructed in a Christian, disciplined environment, and graduated with the foundations of Roman Catholic teaching.
Our school opened in September, 1921 with approximately 400 students in grades 1 to 8. The faculty was comprised of eight Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph (including a teaching principal).
Our school was unique in the diocese in the fact that from the beginning until the final academic year (1972-73), our children were taught exclusively by our Franciscan teaching sisters. There were never any lay faculty. Also, for the 52-year-history of our school, no tuition was charged. The only expenses for students and parents were textbooks, uniforms, and lunch money ($1.25 for five days of lunches!).
Due to the decline in membership in the order of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, the motherhouse in Hamburg, N.Y. informed the parish that after school year 1972-73, no more sisters would be able to be assigned to Three Rivers. Fr. Ceckowski made the decision to close the school rather than seek another teaching order or admit lay teachers. Due to the loss of teaching sisters, many parishes in our diocese closed long established parochial schools through the 1970s and 1980s.
The closing of their parochial schools has been regrettable for so many parishes, ours included. Today our children are the ones most affected by the loss of this option for full-time Catholic education. Weekly religious education helps, but classes one hour per week can never make up for a complete Catholic school education.