In 1911 St. Paul of the Cross Parish was commissioned by Archbishop Quigley to service what was, at that time, a small Catholic population in Park Ridge. The original church, built on the corner of Northwest Highway and Washington Street, was a white wooden building with seating for 350 people. Among the parishioners at St. Paul of the Cross Church at that time was Mother Francis Cabrini. The current church building, with seating for 1,100, was dedicated in 1953.
As the Catholic population of Park Ridge grew, St. Paul of the Cross School was started in 1925 by the Sisters of Mercy and would later be staffed by the Dominican Sisters. The mission of the school was to nurture the adults of tomorrow. At its largest, the student population at St. Paul of the Cross School was 1200 children in 1956, with up to 60 children in a classroom. This large student population led Monsignor Duffin, in 1960, to initiate a funding drive for a Junior High building. This building was opened in 1961 and was renovated and expanded in 2001 to increase classroom space and add much needed meeting space for the parish and school. The original building was also completely renovated at the same time.
St. Paul of the Cross School continues today to nurture the adults of tomorrow through education and programs serving students from early childhood through adolescence. The school works collaboratively with parents to educate students academically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially.