School Philosophy & Mission:
The presence of Pope John Paul II Catholic School represents the strong faith of the Brighton Park community. The school’s uniqueness is derived from the strength and faith originally development in four individual Catholic schools. The faculty and families now join as one in Christ under the name of Pope John Paul II Catholic School, a name chosen because of this Pope’s example of living Christian faith.
Within the evangelizing mission of the Church and Parishes, Pope John Paul II Catholic School is called to teach as Jesus did by proclaiming God’s message, by building up the Catholic community, and by serving others.
Pope John Paul II School is committed to providing students with a strong sense of Catholic Identity and Academic Excellence.
Information from the Principal: Mrs. Deborah Coffey History
Pope John Paul II Catholic School was born on July 1, 1999, as a result of the consolidation of four local Catholic schools—St. Pancratius, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Fatima, and Five Holy Martyrs. The school consolidation was agreed upon by the four parishes in order to protect the livelihood of each individual parish and Catholic education in the community. The school now has the unique privilege of working with all of the priests and parishes of Brighton Park.
As the school was formed, a name which holds a special significance for the local community was chosen. In October 1979, Pope John Paul II had visited Five Holy Martyrs Parish and celebrated mass with the local community. Among those concelebrating the mass was Bishop Alfred Abramowicz, then pastor of Five Holy Martyrs and a long-time friend of the Holy Father. The altar upon which the Holy Father celebrated mass still remains at the Five Holy Martyrs site and is used on special occasions by the school children.
The school officially opened its doors on August 25, 1999 with two campuses, and now remains solely at the Five Holy Martyrs site located on Richmond Street. The current enrollment of approximately 200 students allows for smaller class sizes and personal attention for the students. Children of various ethnic backgrounds travel from around the city and suburbs to attend PJPII School.
While Pope John Paul II Catholic School is constantly creating its own unique history, the school attempts to integrate the lives of its students into the lives of each parish. As part of the Catholic family of Brighton Park, the students have attended liturgies at each of the sponsoring parishes. Students are encouraged to return to their home parish to receive the sacraments and are encouraged to participate fully in their parish community.
To this day, Pope John Paul II remains the only Catholic school in Brighton Park to serve over 2,000 Catholic families in the area. A Catholic education is a crucial alternative in the urban inner-city setting. PJPII students are taught in a community of values and they are expected to grow and develop academically, emotionally, and spiritually.
School Board Members
- Kim Leonard, President
- Steve Solomon, Past President
- Oscar Davila, Parent
- Mayra Guzman, Parent
- Ald. Ray Lopez, Community Member
- Hiliana Martinez, Parent
- Casey Niedos, Community Member
- Henry Roa, Community Member
- Laura Smith, Community Member
- Maria Vega, Parent
- Debbie Waitekus, Community Member
- Non-Voting Members
- Debbie Coffey, Co-Principal
- Molly Cullen, Marketing Director