Bishop Kelly, a Catholic high school in Boise, held a special Mass and celebration Thursday. The event marked the 125th anniversary of the founding of St. Teresa’s Academy, one of the first high schools in Idaho.
Five nuns from the Sisters of the Holy Cross in South Bend, Ind., traveled to Idaho to open the school in 1890 as a high school and boarding school for young women, said Rich Raimondi, Bishop Kelly president.
St. Joseph’s School opened soon after to educate the young men in town. In 1933, the schools united to form the co-ed incarnation of St. Teresa’s Academy.
St. Teresa’s occupied various sites in the city before moving into its best-known home, an imposing structure designed by Tourtellotte and Hummel near 3rd and Jefferson streets in Downtown Boise, not far from the Idaho Supreme Court Building.
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St. Teresa’s held classes until 1964 when Bishop Kelly opened its doors. The diocese sold the school to the state in the late 1960s. It was demolished soon after.
On the RSVP list: Fifty-five St. Teresa’s grads attended the celebration in the gym packed with hundreds of students. Guests included Gov. Butch Otter, St. Teresa’s class of ’62. He proclaimed Oct. 15, 2015, St. Teresa’s Academy Day in the state of Idaho.
“The 55 alumni here today ... that’s more than my graduating class of 12 boys and 24 girls,” said Otter, whose given name is Clement, in honor of the pope.
Close relationship with Idaho history: St. Teresa’s’ first graduating class got their diplomas eight days before Idaho became a state in 1890.
Who was St. Teresa? Thursday was also the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus, also known as Teresa of Avila, who was born 500 years ago in Avila, Spain. She was known as an intellectual and a mystic. She founded the “Discalced” or shoeless Carmelites. The church declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1970 for her writing and teaching on prayer, one of only two women to receive the honor.
St. Teresa is the patron saint of headache sufferers. Her symbols are a heart, an arrow and a book. Pope Gregory XV canonized her in 1622.