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St. John Academy, Indianapolis (1859-1959)

2020 Reunion Update

The 2020 St. John Academy Reunion – originally scheduled for Oct. 4 – has been canceled.

For more information, you may contact Clare Biggers at cbiggers321@att.net.

The 60th St. John Academy Alumni Mass and Breakfast took place on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, at St. John Church.

Alumnae, along with Sister James Michael Kesterson (front row, far let) and Sister Marie Grace Molloy (front row, fourth from left) at the 2019 St. John Academy Reunion. Both Sister James Michael and Sister Marie Grace are alumnae of the school.

Keep in touch on Facebook!

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You can see more St. John’s activities on their Facebook page!

Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp, SP, General Councilor, is heading the alumnae/i relations area of our department at this time. You may reach her at 812-535-2855 or email jhagelskamp@spsmw.org.

History of St. John Academy

St. John was the first Catholic school in Indianapolis. It included both grade and high school. The pastor at St. John’s, Reverend Augustine Bessonies, requested the services of the Sisters of Providence to staff the schools. At first, with only 80 students, the outlook for the high school was dim. Later boarding pupils came from Edinburg, Martinsville, Franklin and nearby towns to increase the enrollment.

Shortly after the school was established, the Civil War broke out. At the request of Governor Oliver Morton, the Sisters of Providence took over the administration of the military hospital. The sisters, students of St. John Academy, and members of the parish helped the three sister-nurses, who lived at St. John’s Convent, with their support.

In 1872, a three-story building was begun to replace the original school. This building was razed in 1959, when the school closed due to changing economic conditions. “Good old St. John’s” was the source of many vocations to the sisterhood, many excellent students for higher education, and many excellent wives, mothers and business women in the City of Indianapolis.

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