Catholic religious orders were the pioneers of education in Texas and New Mexico beginning with the schools operated by Spanish missionaries where Native American children were taught to read, write and add until reaching the age of nine and then vocational skills such as pottery, farming and carpentry. In the 19th century, congregations of women religious which included the Sisters of Loretto, Franciscan Missionary Sisters, Ursuline Sisters, and the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor, established schools, many of which were boarding schools. The Diocese of El Paso was established in 1914 with St. Patrick Cathedral dedicated on Thanksgiving Day in 1917. With the expansion of existing schools and the building of new schools taking place, Father Malachy O’Leary started St. Patrick Parochial School in 1923 and further laid the plans for the Catholic Community Center which later became Cathedral High School.
St. Patrick School was administered by the Sisters of Loretto from its founding in 1923 until 1979. Sr. Rose Teresa was the first principal and the elementary school was coeducational. The Loretto Sisters and a cast of supporters and pioneering parents and guardians believed in the grand experiment of a Catholic education and creating a new learning environment that would courageously diverge from the rote memorization and standardized practices that were common in public school systems at the time and instead emphasized the importance of each individual child to think, create, reason and understand themselves in a larger, more significant context with Jesus Christ at the Core!
St. Patrick Cathedral School is a part of St. Patrick Cathedral Parish in the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. The parish is incorporated under the laws of Texas. The school, as part of that corporation, complies with the policies, rules and regulations of the parish and the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department. The pastor, as head of the corporation, has the ultimate responsibility for all activities and policies of the school. The local school board and the principal assist him in an advisory capacity. The Texas Catholic Conference Accreditation Commission accredits the school. The school functions as an integral part of the St. Patrick Cathedral Parish.