Our History

The first Catholic school in Chillicothe was started in 1861 during the Civil War by Father JJ Hogan. This school lasted two years until the public schools were reorganized. The Catholic school opened again in 1870 and continues to this day.

Our school is subsidized by the St. Columban Parish of Chillicothe, Missouri. The effects of religious and faith development, shared values, and high expectations enable Bishop Hogan students to succeed in academics and be a visible and important ministry of the Catholic church in the community.

The St. Columban Church was built in 1879 and includes the original stained glass windows and sculpture. The original church was built in 1858 and was a small, frame structure located in the southern part of town. Fr. Francis Moenning decided in 1878 that the location was undesirable and the building too small. On December 23, 1878, he purchased a block of land across from the Convent-Academy of the Sisters of St. Joseph for $550. Native stone for the foundation was hauled by horses and wagons from Utica, Missouri, by the Bonderer family. The cornerstone was laid May 25, 1879, by the Most Rev. John Joseph Hogan, the Bishop of the St. Joseph Diocese. St. Columban’s Church was dedicated on November 23, 1879, with Bishop Hogan officiating.

St. Columban’s Parish is a member of the Kansas City – St. Joseph Diocese.

Our Catholic school is across the street from the church. The school grounds include a primary building for the Preschool and the main building which houses the elementary. The main building also includes a large cafeteria, computer lab, administrative offices, and gymnasium.

Father John J. Hogan brought the Catholic faith to Chillicothe in 1857. He was pastor of the first St. Columban’s Church and was later elevated to Bishop of the St. Joseph Diocese.
He was born in County Limerick, Ireland, May 10, 1829, came to the United States at age 18 and entered a Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Five years later, he was ordained a priest.

Eventually, he entered a “charming little town” in an open prairie surrounded by woods. It was Chillicothe, with about 1,000 inhabitants. He discovered one Catholic family, Mrs. Eliza Bell and children. Mr. Bell, a prominent lawyer, was not a Catholic. After assisting the family, they offered him a chapel and a temporary home, and Mr. Bell became a good Catholic.

Father Hogan continued as Bishop of Kansas City until his death at the age of 84 in 1913.

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