St. Patrick School in Janesville will close at the end of school year Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Feb. 01, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

JANESVILLE -- St. Patrick School in Janesville will be closing at the end of the current school year, it was announced at Masses on the weekend of January 27 and 28.

Currently, the school has an enrollment of 11 students in grades kindergarten through eight, in addition to 11 students in the public partnership 4K program.

This enrollment, a continued projected decline, and the fact that the operational cost of the school is over $200,000 per year led both the parish pastoral council and finance council to recommend the school’s closure to Pastor Fr. Tim Renz.

Father Renz contacted Bishop Robert C. Morlino notifying him of the recommendations being made by his parish councils. In a statement, the Diocese of Madison said that there has been ongoing conversation among the four Catholic parishes in Janesville about their schools “and the diocese anticipates the results of that collaboration with optimism.”

St. Patrick Parish is the oldest Catholic parish in Janesville. Catholic families have been praying together in the fourth ward of Janesville for over 170 years. In 1844, they learned that they would be getting a priest of their own. In 1845, the first Mass was celebrated in the church they built.


The families started a school in the church basement, built a convent for the Sisters of Mercy to double as a school, and then built a separate school in 1920. A three-room addition was built in 1950.

St. Patrick School had more than 550 students attending the school at its peak. The school nearly closed after the Sisters of Mercy informed the parish in 1970 that they could no longer provide enough teachers to staff the school.

St. Patrick Parish did decide to keep the school open and agreed to cover additional costs besides charges to school families.

The other three Janesville parishes with schools are St. John Vianney, Nativity of Mary, and St. William.

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