THE HISTORY OF ST. EDWARD CHURCH AND SCHOOL
Due to the overcrowded conditions of St. Patrick’s Church and School and the rapid growth of South Nashville, the late Bishop Adrian made the decision to establish a new parish. Plans for a church and school were developed for property on Thompson Lane.
In June of 1952, Father Aaron Gildea was appointed the first pastor of St. Edward Church. Bishop Adrian dedicated the Church and School on June 21, 1952.
The first school year began on September 2, 1952 with an enrollment of 142 students. The Sisters of Mercy conducted the school. The staff was composed of three sisters and one lay teacher.
In August of 1953, Father Paul Caldwell became the second pastor. In 1961, Father Ned Elliott became the new pastor. The parish purchased the house and lot adjoining the property on the east side. Before the departure of Father Elliott, a new addition of eight classrooms and a library was constructed.
In 1969, Father Paul Hostettler began a two year period as pastor. Father John Cain replaced Father Hostettler in July, 1971.
Father Pat Connor came to St. Edward in 1978. St. Edward School, which at the beginning had a faculty consisting of only four, had grown to a faculty of twenty, including full-time teachers in art, music, library, and physical education. Father Connor began the construction for the Family Life Center.
Father Joseph Patrick Breen came to St. Edward in October of 1984. Throughout the years that Father Breen was at St. Edward, he made many improvements for the Church and School. In 1991, he totally renovated the Church. The curriculum was upgraded by the addition of a computer lab, a full-time technology coordinator, counselor, a learning center and a reading teacher. A covered pavilion was added to the grounds and the playground equipment was replaced or revitalized.
In November of 1999 construction was completed on a new addition that includes new pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms as well as religious education and church offices. The pastor’s rectory was also incorporated into the new structure along with a multi purpose daycare room for the schools afterschool care and summer care program.
In June of 1999, the original elementary wing of the school sustained significant damage from a heavy rain storm, which lead to the collapse of the roof. Demolition of this wing was completed in January 2000. Construction on this portion of the school, which house grades 1 through 4, the school cafeteria, teacher lounge and workroom, and school offices was completed in the Fall of 2000.
St. Edward School has now served the Nashville community for over 50 years providing a Catholic education, which focuses on spiritual value, academic excellence, and social maturity. We are proud of our parish and school, our parents, students, pastor, teacher and principal who, throughout the years have helped make this community what it is today.
Father Breen retired in 2014 after serving the St. Edward Church and School community for over 30 years. Fr. Mark Nolte became the new pastor along with Fr. Dan Reehil assisting him as the associate pastor.
After three years of serving the St. Edward community, Fr. Mark returned to his home diocese in Omaha, Nebraska. In July, 2016, Fr. Dan Reehil became the pastor of St. Edward Church and School.