St. Joseph’s Academy 1868 - 1952
In 1868, the Sisters of Mercy purchased a brick-and-stucco Regency-style house with Greek revival touches in downtown Columbus built for a couple by the name of Shorter, who never lived in the house. The sisters made the house suitable for use as a convent and day school and opened St. Joseph’s Academy. As the school grew they added a wing, doubling the size of the school. Until the turn of the century, the Sisters operated St. Joseph’s Academy as a boarding school for young ladies as well as a day school.
Holy Family School 1952 - 1961
St. Anne School 1961 - 2008
The school continued until 1952, when an expanding Catholic population led to the establishment of a new Catholic parish, St. Anne, and the construction of a new parochial school.
The new school was equipped with nine classrooms accommodating more than 400 students. St. Anne Parish and school was the vision of Msgr. Herman J. Deimel, then pastor of Holy Family Parish. Until St. Anne Church was built in 1961, the school operated under the name Holy Family School, and was operated by Holy Family Parish. Msgr. Deimel served as pastor of St. Anne Church from 1961-1966.
In 1999, St. Anne School dedicated a new expansion of facilities which allowed the school to offer a second class per grade – kindergarten through eighth grade. The expansion included a fully equipped science lab, art studio, media center, renovated kitchen and faculty dining facilities, plus a new building for administrative offices and middle school classrooms. In the early 2000’s, St. Anne School was situated on 23 acres of land with St. Anne Parish and Pacelli High School. In August 2005, the school opened a Pre-Kindergarten Program for 4-year olds in existing facilities.
Pacelli High School 1958-2008
On September 2, 1958, Holy Family High School was established in Columbus, Georgia, to fill the void in local Catholic education facilities. The Most Reverend Thomas J. McDonough, Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, and Reverend Monsignor Herman J. Deimel decided to honor the late Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli. Consequently, the name of the school was changed and Pacelli was born. Since its establishment in 1968, Pacelli High School has been owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Savannah under the direct supervision of the Bishop and Superintendent of Schools. On July 1, 1997, St. Anne Parish assumed ownership and governance of Pacelli High School. In the late 2000’s, Pacelli High School experienced financial hardship and approached the pastor of St. Anne Parish for help.
St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School 2008-present
In late Summer 2008, plans were finalized to combine St. Anne School with Pacelli High School to create one school named St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School. The decision to combine the schools came from the recommendation of various committees and St. Anne Parish. This plan would combine the administration and faculty to benefit the school both academically and financially. The school would be organized into two parts. The Lower School would include the Pre-K4 – 6th grades and the Upper School would include the 7th – 12th grades. Each school would have its own Principal and both Principals would be overseen by the School President. Later that year, the mascot of Pacelli High School would now serve as the mascot for the new school. Pacelli’s Red and White would be combined with St. Anne’s Navy Blue to serve as the new school’s colors. St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School serves as Columbus’ only Catholic PK4 – 12 school. The School is operated by the Catholic Diocese of Savannah under the supervision of the Bishop and the Superintendent of Schools.