Where Spirit & Mind Grow

welcome to st. stephen’s catholic school


To provide a caring Christian community that nourishes spiritual development and academic excellence.

School Philosophy

St. Stephen’s Catholic School integrates faith with academics to prepare students to make solid Christian choices.  It is an accredited, private school, comprised of pre-school, elementary, and middle school levels.


As a vital part of the parish community, we educate students in a Catholic atmosphere enriched by the Gospel messages of peace, and justice.  The spiritual development of students is the primary goal.  The school recognizes that a person’s faith is formed by living out that faith in community through prayer, worship, service and study; and grounded in our Catholic tradition.


In partnership with their family, each student is encouraged and directed to reach his or her potential.  Our academic program emphasizes mastery of the basics, academic excellence, and a variety of extracurricular activities.  The school prepares students to be fully equipped for their next level of academic achievement.


The school seeks to provide a safe and trusting learning environment where each student is valued and challenged to grow spiritually, academically, emotionally, socially, and physically.


Our students are surrounded by faith as we begin and end each day with prayer. Weekly school mass and Gospel messages inspire our youth to live out their Catholic values. The Catholic Social Teachings guide our focus on service projects each school year as we work to enrich the lives of those around us.

High Standards

In addition to the core academics in our elementary grades, each student participates in Art, Music, Spanish, Religion, Physical Education and Technology/Media as part of the enhanced curriculum. Middle school students are guided by advisory teachers who oversee their academic progress in their core curriculum. Our middle school students attend religion class every day with a focus on moral development illustrated through instruction surrounding Christian choices, the sacraments, Church history and the saints.

Church of St. Stephen

Hospitality, warmth, and friendly reception are high priorities around here. In fact, our parish theme song is “All Are Welcome in This Place.”

In the spirit of Jesus who welcomed all to be his followers, we invite you to visit St. Stephen’s, to worship with us, and if you are looking for a place you can call your parish, to consider this dynamic Catholic faith community as your spiritual home.

St. Stephen’s is one of 222 parishes of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

With more than 4,200 registered households we are large in size, but have a warm friendly feeling thanks to:

  • Active participation of our assembly at liturgies
  • Biblically-based, inspiring preaching
  • Lively contemporary music
  • Family-oriented school and formation programs
  • Parish clubs and activities
  • Concerned and competent staff
  • Summerfest, our annual parish celebration
  • Numerous outreach ministries

All are wonderful ways to meet new friends and build Christ-centered relationships with fellow believers.
Please take some time to browse through our web site.  Check out the mass times, meet the staff, discover St. Stephen’s School, learn about our formation offerings, and explore other aspects of our parish.

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Interested in seeing what St. Stephen’s is all about?

Come experience the difference for yourself!

Legacy of Excellence

133 Years in the community

1881: Started By the Community

Under the direction of new pastor Father Michael Bruton, the parish welcomed the Sisters of Mercy as teachers and caregivers for the sick of the community. The John McDonnel home was given to the parish and converted to a convent and school. St. Anne School was dedicated in September 1881. A Mr. Vader was so enthusiastic about the sister’s work that he supplied the convent with milk for 21 years. 

1882: First Communion Class

On June 4, the first recorded communion class of ten girls received the sacrament following instruction from the Sisters. Father Daniel Reilly and Father Martin Connolly were successive pastors and Father William Brennan arrived in 1883.

1884: Curriculum & Boarding

St. Anne School continued to develop a well respected curriculum and charged day students $3.25 every six weeks, (approximately $20 for the entire year.) Meanwhile, boarding students paid a tidier sum of $15 per month, (approximately $135 for the entire year.)

1888: A New Church is Constructed

A new church was needed. Father Brennan sought donations of building materials and construction began on a new church that was dedicated by Archbishop Ireland on July 21, 1889 even though the country was in a depression. It was officially named “St. Stephen” after the first martyr.

1891: Parishners rally their support and finances

Father Thomas Duane came to St. Stephen’s when the community had fallen on hard times as the local flour mills were passing out of existence. Crops were poor and prices low. Parishioners rallied their support behind a number of festivals and fundraisers, gradually wiping out a $10,000 debt and providing three altars, stone steps, church decorations, and the bell.

1894: Covent Grade School Opens

St. Anne’s Convent Grade School was opened March 24, 1894, by the Sister’s of St. Joseph. The Sister’s of Mercy had been located here for a number of years before this. In this first school there were two teachers and lamps were used for lighting and stoves for heating. The first Sisters of St. Anne’s Convent after it was taken over by the Sisters of St. Joseph were Mother Aurelia, Sister Agatha, Sister Francis Joseph, Sister Vincentia, and Sister Auatolia.

1949: School is Condemned by State Fire Marshall

In January, the State Fire Marshall condemned St. Anne’s School. Also this year the Sisters of St. Joseph, who had replaced the Mercy Sisters, resigned their affiliation with the parish. The Presentation Sisters from Aberdeen, South Dakota were invited to run the school.

1950: St. Stephen’s – A New Beginning

The new St. Stephen’s School building opened and welcomed students in September. Classes were offered Kindergarten through 8th grade for 400 students.

1956: Rapid Growth Leads to Additional Resources

With the number of school students approaching 600, four additional classrooms were added. Six additional classrooms were added in 1961.

1966: Growing Community Interest Leads to New Church

One June 1, the Archbishop appointed Father Karl Wittman as new pastor and charged him with the responsibility for building a new church to meet the growing community needs. He also renovated portions of the school including adding a stage and gym, which served as a place for Mass since the old church was too small to accommodate parishioners.

1989: Need for New Technology Leads Expansion

The new addition was built onto the school. Through this building campaign, the school gained a new computer lab, front entry, offices and conference rooms.

1991: Strategies in Place to Meet Needs of Thriving Student Population

26 teachers and 1 principal staffed the 440 students. Crosier Fr. Mike Paquet, O.S.C. was the pastor and acting superintendent. The parish had a population of over 4,000 families and there was a long range planning process in place to more fully meet the needs of the people.

1999: Superindendent is Appointed

Father Mike Van Sloun, O.S.C. was appointed the superintendent by Father Mike Paquet, the pastor.

2011: Superindendent Father Mike Van Sloun, O.S.C. Becomes Pastor at St. Stephen Church

Father Mike Van Sloun, O.S.C. was installed as pastor at St. Stephen Church and continued his duties as superintendent of the school.

2002: St. Stephen’s Kindergarten Becomes All-Day

Due to changes in District 11 busing, St. Stephen’s changed from half day kindergarten to all day every day kindergarten.

2009: St. Stephen’s Preschool Offering Added

A pre-school was added to St. Stephen’s School. The classroom was created in the old nursery space in the Church building. A new teacher and teachers aid were hired.

2011: New Preschool Facilities Added

The preschool room and playground was built in the school building. There are 40 three-year-olds and 40 four-year-olds in the program.

2013: St. Stephen’s Appoints New Pastor and Superintendent

On July 1, Fr. Jack Long begins his term as Pastor and Superintendent of St. Stephen’s Church and School.

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