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

“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 high school experience is like none other you can get anywhere. There is joy and comradery and the girls are happy and excel. They are being supported and encouraged by staff. You can watch a girl come in who had a bad experience elsewhere, bloom here and become a different girl in a short time. Can’t say enough good about it. Thank God the founders had this vision and followed through with it. Well needed and we are very thankful!”

SCA Parent

“[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

“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

“I LOVE this school. The teachers are excellent. Because the students are so friendly, it’s easy to fit in and make friends even if you have had a tough time at other schools. There is virtually no bullying and it is a very friendly, positive environment. Highly recommended.”

Alumna, Class of '17

“This school has a very strong faith atmosphere! The school is fairly new, but is starting to build a name for itself both spiritually and academically. The faculty and staff rock!”

Student, Class of '19

“Recently attended an event at this school – very beautiful!”


“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

“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

“I was among one of the very first classes SCA ever had. As a pioneer and a student to be a part of the foundation of clubs and classes that continue today, I am beyond proud of how far the school has come. There were many ups and downs during my four years but an amazing experience overall. Today at college I still look back on and cherish my times at SCA, thankful for the connections, education and sisterhood I acquired. I am looking forward to seeing many more young women carry on the traditions my class and recent classes have set for the future.”

Alumna, Class of '14