Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School
On May 6, 1966, Omaha Archdiocesan School Superintendent Msgr. Roman C. Ulrich called together 14 representatives from the parishes of St. John the Baptist Parish in Petersburg, St. Bonaventure Parish in Raeville, St. Boniface Parish in Elgin, St. Francis Parish in Neligh, St. Theresa’s Parish in Clearwater, and St. John’s Parish in rural Clearwater to discuss the building of the Central Catholic High School in Elgin, Nebraska. This school would be built, maintained, and operated by the corporation representing these six parishes. Later on May 25, 1966, the name Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School suggested by St. Boniface pastor Msgr. Theodore Buelt, was voted on and accepted.
On June 1, 1966 Dana, Larsen, Roulal, and Associates were selected as architects to build the proposed school on the site west of the St. Boniface Athletic Field. The accepted design called for a 30,300 square foot structure to accommodate 350 students on a compact, one-level plan with a loop circulation corridor. The core of the plan contained a music facility, commercial room, library-study areas, physics, biology, and chemistry labs, an audio-visual room, and administrative offices. The exterior of the loop corridor included nine classrooms, as well as home economics and industrial arts facilities. The structure was designed to allow all year, climate controlled school.
Pope John XXIII High School was designed to be constructed in two phases. The first was completed as described. The second phase called for a gymnasium, locker and shower rooms, cafeteria, kitchen, and storage areas. However, in order to reduce expenses, it was decided to utilize gymnasium and cafeteria facilities owned by St. Boniface Parish.
Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School opened in the fall of 1967 in Elgin. This is Pope John’s 53rd year of providing Catholic education to young people in the region.
St. Boniface Elementary School
St. Boniface School was established in 1904 as a grade school in a small frame building. In 1909, Father Renner found the overcrowded grade school and made plans to erect a brick structure. He realized that the future of a parish rests on the proper education of its youth. In January 1909, the first Franciscan Sisters School opened for grades 1 -8. In 1925, it was decided to add on to the existing structure due to the large enrollment. In 1927, the new addition was ready to open and a high school course was added to the curriculum. The first high school graduate was in 1934. The first orchestra was formed in 1939. A sports program (basketball) was initiated in 1948. This brought the first pep club and cheerleaders.
The last graduating class of St. Boniface High School was in 1967 due to the opening of Pope John XXIII Central. Since 1990, we have operated as a K-6 school system. In 1996 St. Boniface was accredited. In 2005, we added pre-school to our system. Religious instruction is stressed and is included with all the core subjects along with art, music, and technology education. Students attend weekly Masses and participate as lectors, song leaders, servers, etc. A hot lunch program is provided in our the lower level of the church. In the fall of 2013 St. Boniface School was moved to its present location inside Pope John and the school building was torn down.