The school bell rang for the final time June 16 at St. Francis de Sales School in Aston, marking the end of an era of Franciscan elementary education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The school was founded in 1895 when three Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia arrived via horse and buggy to a small church on New Road in Aston. For 121 years, the sisters and faculty of St. Francis strived to instill the Franciscan ideals of excellence, building relationships and service in each child who passed through the halls of the “little school on the hill.”
After receiving the news that their school would be closing, the faculty, staff and parent volunteers continued to work together to make the last few months a nurturing and loving environment for all the children.
The students were able to showcase their academic talents in the Delaware County Science Fair, Pennsylvania Middle School Computer Fair and the Archdiocesan Arts Festival, as well as the annual spring concert at Neumann University.
Closing events were held to honor the memory of St. Francis de Sales School as the students and teachers gathered June 14 on the school grounds to bury a time capsule. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade chose an item representing the school. Items such as a Franciscan cross, No Uniform Today (NUT) passes, a yearbook, the school mission statement and class photos were placed in a box to be buried at the foot of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the school grounds.
The closing observance continued in the evening as families of current students gathered for a dinner at the Ballrooms of Boothwyn in Boothwyn, sponsored by the Home and School Board Association. Carnival games, face painting, dancing and “selfie” photos in front of a mural of the school painted by fourth grade teacher Marie Samohod made for a memorable night for everyone.
The eighth grade class gathered for their graduation Mass and ceremony June 15 at St. Francis de Sales Church. The 24 students wore caps and gowns in the school colors of green with gold tassels, representing the last class to graduate from St. Francis de Sales.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Nurse working with blind and deaf seniors receives top health care award
NEXT: St. Joseph/St. Robert School announces graduation honorees
Went there 1961 first grade. I have fond memories. Sorry to hear the school closed. Rich history. Father Joseph Martin was our pastor and a good man. Mrs. Hammon ran the kitchen and we had wonderful home made lunches, thanks to her and Parish Mothers.