On May 6, 1966, Omaha Archdiocesan School Superintendent Msgr. Roman C. Ulrich called together 14 representatives from the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Bonaventure, St. Boniface, St. Francis, St. Theresa, and St. John 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. Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School opened in the fall of 1967 in Elgin.
The Pope John student body, faculty and staff gathered on Monday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Pope John XXIII Central Catholic High School. The students led a prayer service where they gave thanks to all who have contributed to the life and success of the school for the past 50 years.
After the prayer service the students filled a time capsule with items chosen by each class. The seniors added their Homecoming picture to both commemorate the 50th graduating class of Pope John and to show some of the current fashion and styles. The juniors contributed a picture of their class, a math assignment, and a book cover that was signed by their class.The sophomores added a video of the school and the different classes, which is saved on a USB memory stick. The freshman contributed a Pope John t-shirt. Class members signed the back of the shirt; the front has some current facts about the school and the school’s theme “Rooted in Faith”. The eighth graders placed an Apple iPod 5 and its charger in the box. The ipod contains photos of the class of 2021, their advice on how to survive junior high, and their favorite quotes. The seventh grade class added a photo collection of how the interior of the Pope John building looks today – the Pope John and St. Boniface classrooms, along with hallways,the library and the office.
The time capsule was buried outside the northeast entrance to the school. John Knievel, a member of the Class of 1968, the first graduating class of Pope John was asked to put in the first shovel of dirt. Then Erin Beckman – the only member of the 50th class of Pope John whose parents are both Pope John alumni also put in a shovel of dirt. The time capsule will be preserved underneath a stone marker.
The students concluded the ceremony with a prayer for the intercession of Pope Saint John XXIII, “May he always guide our school as we carry out our mission to foster the spiritual and academic growth of our students, preparing them to live a moral, faith-filled life based on Catholic values”.