St. Patrick reduces debt by $1 million

Photo above is from 2018

BILOXI, Miss.- Principal Dr. Matt Buckley is proud to announce that St. Patrick Catholic High School applied $1 million towards the school’s debt reduction. This was made possible by a $500,000 matching challenge proposed by Bishop Louis Kihneman.

In 2018, anonymous donors came forward offering a matching grant for debt retirement of up to $500,000 to three diocesan schools. In order to receive the funds recipients must match the $500,000, dollar for dollar, before July 31, 2023. This meant the school had to match the donation within a five year window. Dr. Buckley announced that we received the remaining check to match the $500,000 and put toward the school’s debt. The $500,000 was raised through a variety of outlets including the St. Patrick Irish Fund, iGiveCatholic, anonymous donations, etc. 

“Our Advancement Department has played a huge role in us being able to raise this money,” Principal Dr. Buckley said. “They have created several different avenues for people to give, and we are seeing philanthropic giving everyday. Our team has worked hard to meet this challenge allowing us to pay $1 million towards the school’s debt.”

St. Patrick has also seen a 45% increase in enrollment since 2018. While tuition makes up 75% of the school’s operating budget, St. Patrick families, alumni, and benefactors continue to give philanthropically to help make up the final 25%. St. Patrick is currently at maximum capacity with over 625 students. A wait-list has been implemented. Our next goal is to grow the school’s endowed funds and start a capital campaign to begin adding on to the school and campus.

“We at St. Patrick are extremely blessed to have Bishop Kihneman’s leadership and dedication to our Catholic Schools,” School Advisory Council President Marshall Eleuterius said. “In addition to this, we are forever grateful to the generous benefactors for their $500,000 matching contribution. This overall reduction in debt will allow us to further enhance our goal of creating scholars, disciples, and champions.”