This St. Rose Grammar School centennial exhibit is on display at the Belmar Historical Society.  Belmar Historical Society Facebook page
This St. Rose Grammar School centennial exhibit is on display at the Belmar Historical Society. Belmar Historical Society Facebook page

Rose Grammar School will celebrate 100 years of Catholic education in Monmouth County with a Mass and gala, Oct. 8.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. in St. Rose Church. The gala celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Spring Lake Golf Club.

“We’ve invited priests, former principals, faculty, staff and alumni. The school choir has been preparing for the Mass.  It will be beautiful,” shared Gregory Guito, principal of St. Rose Grammar School and chair of the centennial celebration.

“We’ve been planning this celebration for over a year. It’s been a lot of fun looking through the photographs and documents,” he said.

St. Rose Grammar School was founded in November 1921 by Msgr. William McConnell.  The “little red brick building”  was originally named McConnell Hall and is located on the corner of 8th Avenue and E Street.  Two years later,  Msgr. McConnell would establish a high school. The new school was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, whose presence and charisms are still prevalent in the schools’ mission and vision today.

“The Sisters of St. Joseph really started the school.  They are amazing women who are dedicated to education and social justice issues.  They have passed that dedication down to our students. Our students have a heart for service.”

In 1957 during the 25-year pastorate of Msgr. Peter Teston,  the construction of a new and modern high school was completed and the current grammar school building, which houses over 300 students this school year, was completed in 1968.

Guito shared that the campus-style setting is one, he believes, creates that tight-knit, familial feeling in the Belmar community. “There are families that have three generations who have attended the school. St. Rose is embedded into the community here. It’s such a big part of the Belmar/Spring Lake shore area.”

So much so that the Belmar Historical Society has created an exhibit celebrating the centennial.

Historical Society trustee and St. Rose alumnus, Brian Magovern, loaned his report cards to the exhibit. “Going to school is a big deal in a child’s life. All nine of the Magovern kids went to St. Rose Grammar School, including myself, so there was a Magovern sibling at St. Rose from 1948 to 1972,” he said.

In addition to documents such as report cards, photos and other artifacts from the past century are also showcased at the Historical Society.

”People may recognize themselves or family members in pictures that are on display,” Magovern offered.

The Belmar History Society Museum and History Room is located at 900 E Street in the annex to the Union Fire House.  Those wishing to visit the exhibit should visit for more information. 

Those interested in attending the Mass and Gala should visit or call 732-681-555.