The Rev. Richard J. Elmer Education Fund

About the Fund

To honor Rev. Richard J. Elmer’s life of service to Catholic Education as a teacher, administrator, and chaplain, St. Catherine of Siena Academy has established the Rev. Richard J. Elmer Education Fund. This Education Fund recognizes Fr. Elmer’s desire to make Catholic education available to any family that would otherwise not be able to send their daughter to SCA.

The The Rev. Richard J. Elmer Education Fund is an ongoing fundraising effort that supports SCA’s commitment to affordable tuition while maintaining its academic excellence. This ongoing fundraising effort helps bridge the gap between tuition revenue and the actual cost of educating students. Gifts to the Fund provide crucial resources for initiatives such as curricular enhancements, faculty and staff development, campus improvements, technology upgrades, athletics and fine arts, service programs, and tuition assistance. Every gift makes an immediate impact on St. Catherine students and on the life of the school!

Honoring a Legacy

Rev. Richard J. Elmer (Fr. Elmer) was born on May, 1928. He entered the Basilian Community in 1947 after graduating from Detroit Catholic Central High School. Fr. Elmer earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1957 and a Master of Guidance and Counseling degree in 1968 from the University of Detroit. He was ordained a priest in 1957 and has dedicated his life to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Since 1952, Fr. Elmer has been involved in Catholic education. He served at Detroit Catholic Central High School from 1952-1954, 1960-1978, and 1990-2009, in the capacities of teacher, Director of Guidance, Director of Athletics, Director of Alumni and Development, Principal, and President. From 1978-1986, Fr. Elmer directed the National Catholic Education Associations’ Annual Convention and Exposition in Washington, D.C. From 1986-1990, he became Dean of Student Services at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

In 2004, Fr. Elmer became involved with SCA. After many years of hard work and dedication as a founding member of SCA, Fr. Elmer became our first Principal in 2010. Now, as chaplain, he is an integral part of our students’ lives, offering them the sacraments, spiritual direction, and a lively wit.

What Students Have to say About Fr. Elmer

“Fr. Elmer is one of the wisest people I have ever met. He has the ability to share a lifetime’s worth of knowledge in very few words. He always leaves you with a new perspective and a longing  to learn more.”  -Ellie, Class of 2018

“Fr. Elmer is a man of dedication, kindness, and knowledge who has supported high school eduation for many years and continues to do so every week, especially at St. Catherine’s where he gives a lot of his time to help us grow in our faith.”  -Isabella, Class of 2021

“This place (SCA) is about the best Catholic high school you can go to, in my opinion. The whole school isn’t just a school, but a family where everybody knows everybody. It’s a small enough school for that to be possible-and it’s really awesome! What makes SCA different is the people that make up the SCA family. There are no bullies and no one is mean to you. Everybody looks out for you and your teachers become friends….This place is really close to my heart.”

Alumna, Class of '12

“Beautiful school!”


“[Teachers] care about the success of each student. They come early to help students and stay after school if necessary. They are a super dedicated faculty.”

SCA Parent

“An excellent community for families that want to stay involved! Everyone has a different opinion and all students, staff, and faculty are respectful of it. I have never been in an environment that was so inviting and welcoming. It is easy to find a home in this school because the staff genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. It really is a beautiful place and a great experience. I am very lucky to have gone through high school there.”


“I have been very impressed with the teachers at this school. They both challenge the girls academically and show true concern for them on a personal level as well.”

SCA Parent

“My family has had an excellent experience at this school so far. Beyond the beautiful new facility, I have been impressed with the teachers and the administration! They challenge the girls both academically and spiritually, they know them by name, and appear to have a genuine concern for each individual student. The school really feels like a family. As a parent, it is a blessing to me to know that my daughter is in such good hands when I drop her off everyday.”

SCA Parent

“This school is not only college prep, it is life prep. I know that my daughter is being educated to go out and make a positive difference in the world. She will graduate with the confidence and courage to lead wherever she goes in life. I love the principal, the teachers, and the families. It is such a blessing to be a part of the SCA Family. I know the friends my daughter has made will be her sisters for life.”

SCA Parent

“[SCA] builds upon your faith and strengthen you academically throughout the four years in high school so that you are more than ready when you move on to college.”


“Karen Ervin is a remarkable principal! She is a good administrator, but even more importantly, she is an excellent role model for the students. She is strong, confident, and a woman of tremendous virtue. She is unafraid and doing everything in her power to raise strong, Catholic women who will go out and ‘set the world ablaze’!”

SCA Parent

“Another thing I enjoyed about the school was the athletics. I played four different sports at this school and I had the same experience with all of them. The coaches really cared about me, not just how well I was performing and I was treated respectfully on and off the court. Further more, I felt that I was really being pushed physically and mentally during practice which I value in any activity.”