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St. Agnes Academy, Indianapolis (1892-1970)

Alumni information & events

Alumnae events for St. Agnes School are coordinated by Pat Douglass. Contact her for future reunion dates at padouglass@gmail.com or by phone at 317-340-7550.

Cami Pritchett, Constituent Engagement/Planned Giving Manager, is heading the alumnae/i relations area of our department at this time. You may reach her at 812-535-2807 or email Cami at cpritchett@spsmw.org.

Upcoming events

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Remember these sisters?

These sisters all taught at St. Agnes Academy at one time. Click on their name to see what their ministry is now. Or click here to contact them!

Class notes

  • Christine M. Munshower

    January 9, 1947 – December 2, 2023

    Christine (Chris) Marie Munshower, class of 1965, returned to her birthplace, Indianapolis, to attend a family event and while there died after a brief illness on December 2, 2023. Chris graduated from St. Agnes Academy in 1965. She then attended IU and was an RN in Arizona for over 40 years. She lived her life in service of others and was truly committed to creating a world that was more just, merciful and kind.

    Christine M. Munshower Obituary

      (January 2024)

  • Mary Patricia Mahan McElhiney

    October 28, 1948 — October 6, 2022

    Mary Patricia Mahan McElhiney, class of 1966, passed away on October 6, 2022, in Indianapolis, IN. Mary Pat was born in Indianapolis on October 28, 1948, to Joseph and Virginia (Rich) Mahan. She attended Little Flower Catholic grade school, St. Agnes Academy, St Mary-of-the-Woods College & Butler University. She served on several boards and was active at various nonprofits, including Daughters of the American Revolution, AT&T Pioneers Life Member Club, and the All-Girls Catholic High School Alumna group called Academy Women, and the Reunion ’66 Catholic high school alum group. She was an artist, a quilter, an excellent cook, and a friend to everyone she met.

    Mary Pat McElhiney Obituary

    (February 2024)

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History of St. Agnes Academy

In the state capitol, Bishop Silas Chatard was eager for the Sisters of Providence to open a first class girls’ academy. He bought the Conduit mansion across the street from St. Peter and Paul Cathedral on North Meridian Street. The Bishop bought the mansion for $26,000 and deeded it to the sisters in 1892. The Conduit house had to be renovated to make it a suitable academy. It was a typical Victorian mansion. Converting the frame building into school rooms was a heavy financial burden on the community of sisters, but it was done in hopes the school would become a leading academy in Indianapolis.

Sister Camilla Morrison was the first Superior of St. Agnes Academy and she was aided by 11 sisters. In 1893, Laura Byeher, age 12, was the first student to register. On June 7, 1897, the first three graduates from St. Agnes were May Reaume, Adelaide Thale and Mary Helmer. Each graduate gave an oral essay the day they graduated. After each essay was given, other students played instruments.

St. Agnes was a boarding school from 1893 until 1932. The boarders could only have Saturday visitors and no phone calls were permitted except from parents or guardians. Their extracurricular activities were projects planned from Sodality. In 1909, students began wearing uniforms. St. Agnes also became a grade school used by Cathedral. In 1908, a newer building was erected facing Meridian Street. The old mansion was moved behind the newer building. In November 1922, the old building, the Conduit mansion, was razed.

The last class to graduate from St. Agnes was in 1970. Letters in the archives tell of the lack of money to pay utilities at St. Agnes. Ladywood was well equipped to help. They had better facilities, and the larger enrollment would help Ladywood. The two schools merged to form Ladywood-St. Agnes in 1970.

A few years later, the sisters decided to give up ownership of the high schools. They sold Ladywood-St. Agnes to Cathedral High School with the agreement the new school would be a co-educational institution. A number of sisters remained on the Ladywood campus and continued to minister education and religion to the young men and women at Cathedral High School.

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