A Remarkably Long and Distinguished History of Academic Excellence

May 1782

John Mc Elroy, founder of St. John’s Literary Institution, is born in Euniskillen, Ireland. He immigrated to America at the age of twenty-one, settling first in Baltimore, Maryland, then in Washington, D.C., where he entered the Jesuit Order at Georgetown.

Circa 1787-1803

Large, elegant mansion, later known as Prospect Hall and future site of St. John’s Literary Institution was constructed on Red Hill.


Father McElroy founds Saint John's in Frederick with the Society of Jesus (who also founded the first free school for black children in Washington D.C., and founded Boston College in 1865). Charter of St. John's Literary Institution is obtained from Maryland State Legislature.


St. John's Literary Institution becomes coeducational, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame help staff the parish school.


St. John's Literary Institution moves from downtown Frederick to the Prospect Hall property.

Second Street School
Prospect Hall


The School Sisters of Notre Dame were no longer able to staff the school, so a group of dedicated parents and parishioners pool their energies and resources to keep the school open. St. John's opens as the first independent Catholic School in Maryland.


Prospect Hall Mansion is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A Sesquicentennial Celebration Ball is held for St. John's Literary Institution.


The purchase of St. Thomas More Academy is completed and the construction begins at the Buckeystown Campus.


January 2013, Saint John's Catholic Prep moves to the new Buckeystown Campus and a liturgy & dedication of the new campus is held in February.


January 2018, the new  Delaplaine Rocca Team Center opens, providing a vastly improved fitness facility for our student-athletes and the general campus community. 


We  very busy planning two special construction projects which will allow us to better serve our students:

an extension on the school providing an expanded cafeteria, a multi-purpose room, four new classrooms and a chapel - the new addition will allow us to serve 320 students,

a stadium for our football, soccer and lacrosse programs, with an artificial turf field and lights for evening competitions and practices - the stadium will provide seating for 800 Viking fans. 

Promises Campaign 2019-2020 Building Plan