“I plead with you–never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”
― Pope John Paul II

History of St. John Paul II Catholic School

Catholic schools in northeast Minneapolis have been educating children since 1853. This preceded statehood in Minnesota by five years. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened St. Anthony of Padua School as a haven for immigrant children in 1853, and Pope John Paul II Catholic School continues this tradition as a consolidated school. The mission is to continue to provide a Catholic education to all families regardless of their ability to pay tuition. Our school serves the children of proud working families of all ethnicities in northeast Minneapolis. This includes families who work in downtown Minneapolis and new immigrant families from Ecuador and Mexico who are moving in to the neighborhood. 

The school consolidation took place in 1969 and involved eight northeast Minneapolis parish elementary schools of the Churches of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Boniface, All Saints, Saint Maron, Our Lady of Lourdes, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Saint Hedwig, and Holy Cross.

In March 2003, our name officially changed from Northeast Regional Catholic School to Pope John Paul II Catholic School. 

In the summer of 2004, the school staff embarked on the challenging journey of redefining and recreating education at Pope John Paul II Catholic School. Multi-age classrooms were established. Extensive staff development in the areas of differentiated instruction and multiage classroom philosophy and methodology were studied. This staff development process continues today as the school program is revised based on the developing needs of our ever-changing student body.

Our Christian Behavior Expectations are based in Scripture and teach our students how to be accountable for their own behavior. We have a strong sense of community surrounding the children, and that community creates a positive atmosphere for learning and growing as children of God. 

Our name was changed once again to St. John Paul II Catholic Preparatory School to reflect the canonization of Pope John Paul II in 2014.  

In August 2016, St. John Paul II became a member of Ascension Catholic Academy, a partnership with Ascension Catholic School in North Minneapolis and St. Peter Claver Catholic School in the Rondo Neighborhood of St. Paul. The Academy schools share resources and governance with the goal of providing all scholars with a future full of hope through the opportunities that education and faith bring forth.