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School History

The desire for a Catholic school in the town of Deerfield began back in the 1920’s. The Depression interrupted these plans. In 1937, plans finally were realized when the Sisters of Loretto agreed to teach and the parish men pitched in to set up three portable classrooms, obtained from the Chicago Board of Education for the grand sum of $25.00 - this included desks and chairs

The “Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross” were the first religious community of women founded in the United States. Sister Benedict was the first of her order to arrive in Deerfield. The sisters wore a distinctive head piece that resembled a modified prairie sunbonnet or the arch of the covered Conestoga wagons.  They commuted between Highland Park and Deerfield until 1957. After this the Sisters lived in the Ender family home, the historic “Claramount”, which was transformed into a convent.  This is now the rectory of Holy Cross Parish.

In 1956, when the town’s population doubled, it was evident that the church and the school had to be expanded. Father O’Mara, the pastor, devised a fundraising plan. The parishioners played a prominent part in the fundraising, and with their help ground breaking for the new Holy Cross School began. The funds collected provided for the church and a one-story modern school with eight classrooms (our primary wing). There is a lovely dedication, carved in stone, outside the doors between the church and the primary wing: Holy Cross Church and School A.D. 1957, Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago.

The Intermediate area of the school was added in 1964 and a second floor Junior High completed in 1967. On June 6, 1987, Fr. J. Thinnes lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Parish Community Center. This addition included the gym, kitchen, large motor skills room ( now our Extended Day Care room) and the Community room with meeting rooms above. It was completed in 1988.