BELMAR — St. Rose Grammar School is near its 100th anniversary, and the school community is preparing to celebrate the history of the school that was once McConnell Hall. 

Festivities will take place on Friday, Oct. 8, with Bishop David M. O’Connell coming to St. Rose Church to give a Mass of Thanksgiving at 5 p.m. The Mass service will be followed by a centennial gala celebration at the Spring Lake Golf Club, on 901 Warren Ave., from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m, with St. Rose Grammar School alum Pat Roddy performing with his band. 

“It is difficult for me to believe I am part of that and it’s actually a very exciting moment,” Gregory J. Guito, who has served as the principal of St. Rose Grammar School since 2016, said. “To see and to learn about how a school that has had multiple generations of students throughout the years, and thousands of graduates who have walked these halls and have made history themselves and to look back at the past on how that evolved from a small red brick building that is still on campus.”


The school was founded in November 1921 according to the Belmar Historical Society. The school was originally known as McConnell Hall, after Monsignor William J. McConnell, who spent 27 years at St. Rose Church and played a role in establishing not only the grammar school but St. Rose High School in 1923.

The original red brick building is still located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and E Street to this day. In later years, a new building was constructed two blocks down the road, on Sixth Avenue.

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