Religion
12:30 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Local Catholics celebrate 150 years of secondary education

Peoria area members of the Catholic community are celebrating 150 years of secondary education. Peoria Notre Dame students, alumni, and other supporters gathered for a mass at the school Friday.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founded the first Catholic high school in the city in 1863. That school was consolidated with Spaulding Institute to become Peoria Notre Dame 25 years ago. Principal Charlie Roy says the school has stayed true to its Catholic roots over the years.

"We're always working to produce graduates who go in and provide our community with leadership, (and we) work hard to instill Christian values in our graduates. We graduate young men and women who work for justice, who want to know truth, and carry that gospel message into their lives every day."

Roy says a number of prominent leaders have graduated from the high school including Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. Norte Dame is also in the process of raising ten-and-a-half million dollars to build the first part of a new campus on Willow Knolls. Roy says that project will lay the ground work for the school to be around another 150 years.