St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School was founded in response to the need for Catholic
education among a growing population in the current township of Green Park, Missouri. In
1959, under the leadership of Cardinal Ritter, land on Mueller Road in South St. Louis County was purchased from August Guehring. The land that once had been a tree nursery was to become the site of St. Simon the Apostle Parish and School. Reverend Louis Dierker was appointed pastor of the newly formed parish on April 7, 1959. During construction of the new church, the Lindbergh School District provided space for the worshipping community at Concord School. The church was completed in August of 1960. There were 456 families registered in St. Simon the Apostle Parish at the time.
During the summer of 1959, plans were underway for the opening of St. Simon the Apostle School. Father Dierker received a commitment from the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, New York, to staff the school. When it opened its doors in September, 1960, the school was already too small for the 518 registered students. The parish buildings were dedicated on December 3, 1961 while construction was in process for six additional classrooms. The school enrollment grew to a maximum of 745 students during the 1964-1965 school year.
In June of 1972, Reverend Dierker resigned due to illness and Reverend Thomas J. Woracek was appointed pastor. Since the rectory on Jackie Lane was a private residence, groundbreaking for the new rectory was held in the Fall of 1972. In September of 1973, the Parish School of Religion was established. The parish continued to grow and in 1975 work began on the church to met the needs of the large worshipping community. The remodeled church was completed by the end of 1977.
The school enrollment fluctuated with the changing birthrate. In 1980 under the leadership of Sister Anne Simms and Monsignor Woracek, St. Simon the Apostle Parish entered into an agreement with Mary, Mother of the Church Parish to provide Catholic education for families who desired full time Catholic education for their children. The relationship between the two parishes flourished and is still in effect today.
In 1984, as the parish celebrated its 25th anniversary, plans were developed to expand the physical plant by adding a gymnasium, kindergarten and library. Before this project was started, Monsignor Woracek was reassigned in June of 1985 ad Reverend William B. Ahrens was appointed pastor of St. Simon the Apostle. Father Ahrens continued to work with the Parish Council and with his support, the new wing of the school was brought to completion. Dedication of the Monsignor Woracek Parish Center was held on January 17, 1988. This space is used as the gymnasium for the school. It is the gathering space for Home & School meetings, sporting events, the Eighth Grade play and the Kindergarten Opera.
The Dominican Sisters played a vital role in the education of the students of St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School until 1993. Some of the sisters remained in the convent, but did not teach in the school. The convent was closed in 1995 after the sisters decided to return to their mother house in Sparkill, New York. The convent was remodeled and in 1996 an Early Childhood Center, named “Simon Says”, was established to provide care for infants and preschool age children of families in the St. Simon the Apostle parish community and surrounding area.
As the new millennium approached, the need to expand facilities again became apparent. A capital campaign was launched to build a new church capable of accommodating 800 worshippers at one Liturgy. Father Ahrens broke ground for the new church on September 24, 2000. The old church was renovated into a space for school needs. Offices were expanded and a health room, copy room and much needed storage areas were established. The computer lab was expanded. A music room, faculty lounge, and multipurpose room were constructed in this space as well. An area was created to house the after-school latchkey program that is sponsored by Simon Says Early Childhood Learning Center. The library was moved to the renovated church space so that a second Kindergarten room could be created.
The establishment of renovated school space allowed programs to flourish within the school. Enrichment, band, foreign languages and after-school latchkey programs ow had a permanent site. These programs have added depth to the school curriculum.
The new church was dedicated by Archbishop Justin Rigali on March 17, 2002. Reverend William Ahrens saw the completion of the expanded facilities before retiring in June of 2003. During the Summer of 2003, Reverend Mark Ebert was appointed as the fourth pastor of St. Simon the Apostle Parish. Father Ebert was transferred in 2008 and on June 17, 2008, Reverend Erich Fechner was appointed as the fifth pastor of St. Simon the Apostle Parish and left in June of 2015.
Reverend Bradley Modde was appointed the sixth pastor of St. Simon the Apostle Parish on July 1, 2015. The history of St. Simon the Apostle Parish and School has been one of zealous faith, loyal commitment and selfless generosity, much in keeping with the attributes of our patron saint who watches over and protects us. Each challenge that has faced the parish community has been met with cooperation and optimism, fostering the building of the Kingdom of God on this earth.