History and Heritage | Totino-Grace High School (2023)

In the late 1950s, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, sought to expand the number of Catholic high schools in the Twin Cities area. At the same time, Monsignor Joseph Lapinski, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia Heights, purchased land in nearby Fridley in the hope that the Archdiocese would build one of these new secondary schools there. Construction of a new secondary school was soon approved, and in 1965 the Christian Brothers assumed responsibility for running the school. The Sisters of Notre Dame School joined the Brethren in this endeavor and opened Archbishop Grace High School in September 1966 with 175 freshmen. The first class to graduate was the Class of 1970.

From the beginning, the Brothers and Sisters welcomed the presence of lay people as their colleagues in all areas of the school's operations. To this day, these men and women have continued the spirit and tradition that is one of the school's strengths. The school grew in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1970, the Christian Brothers informed the Archdiocese that they could no longer be personally responsible for the financial operation of the school, and a lay Corporate Council was started to formulate school policy .

The school was originally named for Archbishop Thomas L. Grace, a former Bishop of Minnesota who pioneered education. In 1980, the school's name was changed to Totino-Grace in honor of the generous benefit of Jim and Rose Totino, frozen pizza entrepreneurs. Today, Totino-Grace is one of the thirteen largest Catholic secondary schools (with a student population of approximately 800) in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The school's long association with the Christian Brothers and its support of the Lasallian educational mission led Totino-Grace to declare itself a Lasallian School in 1997. Totino-Grace is now part of a worldwide network of Lasallian Schools with approximately 5,000 Brothers and 70,000 colleagues . lay people teaching nearly a million students in eighty-two countries. Lasallian educators believe that touching the hearts of the children entrusted to them is the greatest of all miracles.

When Totino-Grace opened its doors in 1966, the Christian Brothers and Scholastic Sisters of Notre Dame introduced our community to the people we now call our Founders, not because DeLaSalle or Blessed Teresa ever walked the halls of Totino-Grace. Grace, but because their faith in God, their vocation as educators, their love for their students is what inspired the brothers and sisters in those early years; is what still inspires us today.

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Together, we continue to honor Saint John Baptist de La Salle and Blessed Teresa Gerhardinger and all the men and women who came before us to continue their tradition of faith, love and education.

  • Our Catholic Identity
  • Our Lasallian Tradition
  • Our Founders and Patrons

Our Catholic Identity

Totino-Grace is an educational ministry of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and shares the teaching mission of the Catholic Church. As such, the school is dedicated to religious training and instruction, academic preparation and the cultural development of young people. Totino-Grace invites and challenges students to make their faith alive, conscious, and active, preparing them for leadership in the Church and in the world.

Realizing that parents and guardians are the primary educators, Totino-Grace, through its administrators, teachers, staff, coaches, and facilitators, works diligently with parents and guardians to help our youth grow in their faith.

We are a community of faith and zeal

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  • Guided by the Life and Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Emphasizing the inalienable dignity of every person
  • Promote the love of wisdom and truth through the tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church
  • Strive to develop authentic personal relationships through trust and mutual respect.

We are a prayer and worship community

  • Gather regularly to celebrate the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation
  • Praying together every day as a school, in classes, and as teams and clubs
  • Provide opportunities for frequent practice of traditional Catholic devotions.

We are a community of service

  • Living our commitment to serve and the common good
  • Provide opportunities for students to take the lead in strengthening and nurturing their faith.
  • Exercise of the preferential option for the poor

Our Lasallian Tradition

Totino-Grace High School is an archdiocesan Roman Catholic educational community where students are loved, instructed and guided in accordance with the traditions of the Brethren of the Christian Schools and the charism of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Brethren and Patron of Teachers.

Totino-Grace education, inspired by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, touches the heart of every student, inspiring them to exceed their own expectations, achieve academic success and experience personal and spiritual fulfillment in a safe environment . , nurturing the community.

As a Lasallian secondary school:

  • We educate in the Holy Presence of God, striving for excellence by instilling Gospel values ​​in everything we do and inspiring academic and spiritual growth.
  • We believe that faculty and staff maintain a gracious and helpful relationship with students. Totino-Grace students benefit from the witness of a caring, thoughtful, and dedicated faculty, administration, and staff.
  • We are committed to creating and maintaining respectful human relationships in the community. In this environment, Totino-Grace seeks to challenge its students to serve others, especially the poor, and deepen a sense of responsibility in the world community.
  • We seek to serve and welcome students with diverse academic needs and diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds, and we do so in partnership with families and all those who are committed to living the Lasallian mission.

Our Founders and Patrons


Saint John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719)He is the Founder of the Brethren of the Christian Schools. He was born into a wealthy family in Reims, France, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Reims in 1678. De La Salle realized that the children of the poor and artisans did not have access to education. In 1689 he founded the teaching community of the Brothers of the Christian Schools to give Christian education to poor and working-class youth. De La Salle had a great love for Holy Scripture, a great sense of being always in the presence of God, a deep sense of prayer along with a spirit of faith and zeal. Today, they are in 85 countries around the world and work in all aspects of education. Pope Leo XIII declared De La Salle a saint in 1900. His feast is celebrated on May 15th. De La Salle is the patron saint of teachers and is considered the father of modern pedagogy. He is respected as the innovator of many teaching techniques that are still in use today.

"Touching the hearts of your students with the Christian spirit is the greatest miracle you can perform."

Beata Teresa Gerhardinger (1797 - 1879)she is the founder of the Sisters of the School of Notre Dame in Bavaria in 1833. Blessed Teresa was motivated by a desire to provide education for poor girls and young women. She coached her sisters to empower women to succeed in the world while growing closer to God. In 1847, the School Sisters of Notre Dame came to the United States and continued to minister to the needs of women and the poor. Today, Sisters of Notre Dame Schools minister in 31 countries. Pope John Paul II declared Beata Theresa Gerhardinger in 1985. Her memory is celebrated on May 9 and the cause for her canonization continues.

"Love is the sign by which the world must be convinced that we believe in Jesus."

Our Patrons

Archbishop Thomas L. Grace, O.P. (1814-1897)he was the second bishop of the Diocese of Saint Paul, serving from 1859 to 1884. He was ordained a Dominican priest and served the Church in Pennsylvania and Tennessee before coming to Minnesota. Grace was a strong advocate of Catholic education, inviting many religious orders to Minnesota, including the Christian Brethren. He was a leader who believed in planning for the future. He was also known for his concern for the poor and needy. Grace advocated for human rights, especially for Minnesota's Native American population. Archbishop Grace provided stability and guidance as the Church in Minnesota grew rapidly due to the influx of European immigrants. When this archdiocesan school opened in 1966, it was decided to name it in his honor.

Jim (1911 - 1981) by Rose (1915 - 1994)they were great benefactors of this school, especially after they sold their now famous pizza recipe to Pillsbury. Both Mr. as for Mrs. Totino valued Catholic education and did all they could to help it flourish. They were the children of Italian immigrants and embodied the American dream. The Totinos opened a restaurant in northeast Minneapolis and worked tirelessly to achieve its success. They have also created a frozen pizza business. Totino's success was phenomenal. Love of God, love of life, love of youth and love of the Christian message motivated them to generously share their treasures with Grace High School.

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A crista Totino-Grace High School

History and Heritage | Totino-Grace High School (1)

to crystal
A shield or shield is the oldest trademark and one that immediately translates into a sense of belonging. The shield is a symbol of the strength of the Totino-Grace community and the feeling of family that is experienced.

in uniform
The chevron is a series of inverted Vs on the left side of the crest. The motto conveys the enduring impact of St. John Baptist de LaSalle, founder of Christian Brothers, and highlights the school's commitment to fulfilling the Lasallian mission.

A cruz
The cross clearly says that we are a Catholic school. Jesus Christ is at the center of our identity.

The flame
The flame above the crest is the lamp or light of learning. In the spirit of Blessed Teresa Gerhardinger and the Sisters of Notre Dame School, we are an educational community committed to learning and faith. We are people of faith called to be a light for others.

The colors blue and gold are the historic colors of Totino-Grace and are the colors of the De La Salle family coat of arms.

1966 is the founding year of Totino-Grace. It reminds us that although we are young in terms of years, we proudly celebrate our rigorous academic tradition, faithful service, and excellence and equity in all programs.

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