Our school then
Our school now
In the Fall of 1912, St. Gregory the Great Parochial School was started by the newly formed parish in a brownstone at 995 St. Johns Place. Instruction was provided by the Sisters of Mercy, and its first principal was Sr. Mary Dominic Murphy. Its first graduation was in June 1916.
The February 1922 opening of a newly constructed three-story limestone and white pressed brick building at 991 St. Johns Place was sorely needed to accommodate the expanding enrollment that would soon reach to over 900 students. For over two decades, until the mid 1950’s, there were two graduations – January and June – annually. As suburban migration of European parishioners accelerated in the 1960’s, enrollment declined and the number of lay faculty increased. Many of the new students came from Caribbean and African-American families – the neighborhood’s new residents.
In the 1970’s, fiscal constraints within the local parishes gave rise to consolidation. School systems of the neighboring parishes – St. Joseph, St. Matthew and St. Teresa of Avila were joined with St. Gregory. Our site was renamed Unity Catholic School in the Fall of 1974. The teaching religious was reduced and the number of lay teachers, increased. Under the direction of St. Gregory the Great’s Ninth Pastor, Fr. Gary Rogers, the parish reclaimed the school in the Fall of 1990. Once again, there was St. Gregory the Great Elementary School. Even though there had not been any religious faculty since 1987, the school has not faltered in mission, vision, commitment or perseverance.
On April 15,2011, diocesan engineers declared the recently landmarked school site, structurally compromised, necessitating the immediate evacuation of the premises. Fr. Andrew Struzzieri, tenth pastor, was able to arrange accommodation at the vacant Holy Cross School building at 2520 Church Avenue; and Holy Cross Parish pastor, Msgr. Joseph Malagreca, was most welcoming.
St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy [SGGCA] is the school’s most recent transformation, has a new governance structure. In 2013 a Board of Directors was entrusted with the governance of SGGCA; and a Board of Members –diocesan representatives and pastors of the aligned parishes of Holy Cross, Holy Innocents, and St. Matthew – which includes the faith communities of St. Gregory the Great and Our Lady of Charity have oversight of this educational ministry. The presence of Catholic education in Central Brooklyn persists, and the mission is uncompromised.