One Sunday, in 1987, Father Martin Laughlin, now Monsignor Laughlin and known by many as “the father of Catholic education”, especially in the area known as the Low Country, looked over his congregation at St. Peter’s Church. He saw many young parents, and had a vision of them waiting for their children to be dismissed from school. He knew that they wanted to educate their children, and that the education should be at a Catholic school.

How We Began…

In August of 1991, the parents of 79 children took a leap of faith and enrolled their children in K4 – 1st grade in an eight-room education wing of the parish complex.

The new school consisted of five classrooms, a library, a work room and an office. As grades were added, the existing space diminished until, in 1995, Father Laughlin was given permission by the bishop at that time, to construct a new building on the church property on Lady’s Island. Through the support of the parishioners, and the vision of the pastor, St. Peter’s Catholic School was built in its current location.

Following our example, Catholic schools were opened on Hilton Head in 1996 and in Bluffton in 2006. This has allowed a blessing that even Father Laughlin couldn’t have dreamed of: the opening of a Catholic high school in our area! With the opening of nearby John Paul II Catholic School in 2013, Beaufort families have the opportunity for Catholic education from K3 through 12th grade.


To develop “Saints and Scholars” in the Catholic tradition of excellence.


The mission of St. Peter’s Catholic School is to prepare students to excel in life by achieving success in a lived and taught Catholic tradition of excellence. Consistent with our motto, “Saints and Scholars”, we aim to produce leaders in academics and servants in faith.

Our School Today…

Currently, Saint Peter’s Catholic School is a K3 through 6th grade Catholic Elementary School under the Diocese of Charleston Schools Office.

The curriculum stresses academic achievement within a Christian community where each child feels loved and respected by peers as well as by teachers. Vatican II texts are used so that our theology is in compliance with the bishops of the world. United with each other in meaningful liturgy and prayer, students grow in understanding of the Christian life. At St. Peter’s, we are attemp to “teach as Jesus did.” The Diocesan curriculum guidelines, consistent with the State of South Carolina guidelines, are followed for teaching all secular subject areas. The curriculum is marked by current content and fresh approaches to methodology. The emphasis is on principles rather than facts, on learning through problem-solving rather than by precept. We strive to offer a program which makes use of many sources of reading material, a wide variety of audio-visual and technology tools, and a multi-text approach to the content areas.

God has blessed us throughout since our founding with academic and spiritual excellence. We continue to grow and flourish, and we know that the Lord has great things in store for Saint Peter’s Catholic School!