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School History

Catholic schools in Madison, Indiana extend back to a Sunday in mid-July 1837 when Fr. Michael Edgar Shawe became Madison’s first resident Catholic priest and founded St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church. Father Shawe, the first Priest ordained in Indiana, had arrived to minister to Madison’s growing population of Irish Catholics; many of whom were believed to be brought to Madison for the building of the first railroad in Indiana, the Madison-Indianapolis Railroad.

Father Shawe remained in Madison two short years before accepting a teaching position at a new Catholic University in the frontier settlement town of South Bend, Indiana. Father Shawe taught at the University of Notre Dame du Lac until his untimely death in 1853.

In 1952, the Catholic parishes of Jefferson County announced the beginning of a campaign for the new Catholic High School in Madison.  Driven by the efforts of Father Hilary Meny. St. Mary’s and St. Michael Elementary schools.  Parishioners came together again a few years later in an effort to combine the two elementary schools in to one, Pope John XXIII Elementary.


Founded in 1954, Shawe Memorial is a co-educational Catholic school for grades 7-12 and is affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.  It is through the students, parents, faculty, and administration that Shawe Memorial continues the tradition of excellence in Catholic education.  Shawe Memorial offers a quality, college-preparatory education for over 175 students in Madison and surrounding communities.


Catholic education has been a part of the Madison/Jefferson County community since the early 1800s and has been an important education option for the ongoing educational and economic development of the Madison area.  Pope John XXIII Elementary offers a strong traditional education, while emphasizing the Catholic faith.  Pope John XXIII was dedicated in 1966 and serves grades PreK- 6th with a very active preschool program.


The 20-acre school campus encompasses St. Patrick's Chapel, Pope John XXIII Elementary & Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School, an office building housing administrative offices and the Parish pastoral staff, the playground, athletic fields including a baseball/softball complex, tennis courts and soccer field, and an outdoor environmental laboratory. Shawe Memorial and Pope John XXIII are the only primary/secondary (PreK-12) school combination in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis supported by one parish.


Prince of Peace Catholic Schools prepare students to lead meaningful lives by combining rigorous academics with opportunities for exploration and reflection.


Prince of Peace Catholic Schools are one of the area's leading Catholic Schools.

Pope John XXIII Elementary

221 West State Street

Madison, Indiana 47250


Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School

201 West State Street

Madison, Indiana 47250


Administration and Parish Office

305 West State Street

Madison, Indiana 47250


Prince of Peace Catholic Schools -  305 West State Street, Madison, Indiana 47250

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