ST. CLOUD -- The Diocese of St. Cloud has decided to bring the separate Catholic schools in the area together under one roof.

They are currently in the process of selecting the first superintendent to lead this new district.

Board of Directors Chairman, Father Ron Weyrens says, it's in part to help the local Catholic schools to compete with their public counterparts.

"We want to become the prestige school in the area, if someone comes into town, they ask where should we send our kids to school, we want that answer to be Catholic Community Schools."

Weyrens also says, it's to help consolidate resources, a trend that's happening at Catholic schools nation-wide.

"It's more of a growing trend, bringing schools together to work in a cooperative venture, to be able to share resources more effectively, not only financials, but teacher skills and other incidentals."

Bishop Donald Kettler started the idea for a new school system, and the superintendent search committee was formed last October.

The three finalists are :

  • Mike Mullin, president of Cathedral High School
  • Anne Penny, principal of St. Charles Catholic School in Winnipeg
  • Kevin Powers, principal of St. Margaret of Scotland in Chicago

The schools that will be a part of this new district are:

  • All Saints Academy (St. Cloud and St. Joseph)
  • Cathedral High School (St. Cloud)
  • Holy Cross (Pearl Lake)
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (St. Cloud)
  • St. Francis Xavier (Sartell)
  • St. Katherine Drexel (St. Cloud)
  • St. Mary Help of Christians (St. Augusta)
  • St. Wendelin (Luxemburg)

A total of 14 applications were received, and the three finalists can be met by the parents, parishioners and staff Tuesday during two sessions at St. Augustine Church, 442 2nd St. SE, St. Cloud.

The first session runs from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the second session will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The new district will bring together some 1900 students in the area.