At Pope Francis Catholic School, developing the literacy and numeracy skills of our students is the focus of our programs. However, our students cannot attain skills in isolation. We believe that we are part of a learning community that must provide a safe and secure environment and foster character attributes, such as respect and responsibility, while improving student achievement. As such, the staff, students and parents of Pope Francis Catholic School are a close knit and involved community.
Senhor Santo Cristo and St. Luke Catholic School came together to form the new school community of Pope Francis Catholic School.
Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School was named after a centuries-old feast that originated in Ponta Delgada, St. Miguel in Portugal. It was selected by the community to honour our Lord Jesus Christ. The school operated in a modern facility with an exceptional general purpose room (gymnasium), a unique library, music (instrumental and vocal) and large classrooms. The school served a student population which originally consisted of a large number of students who were recent arrivals to Canada, and later of generations of students born in Canada.
The school was also the home of the Niagara Faculty of Education University, which was situated on the third floor. Teacher candidates were placed regularly in classroom which provide extra support for students. Striving to establish a safe, welcoming and warm environment, an increasingly strong emphasis was placed on cultural events and activities, to enrich and expand student experience. Over the years, the dedicated staff reached beyond the school walls to support students, families and community agencies. Extracurricular sports, dramatic presentations, monthly virtue assemblies, Christmas concerts and annual Catholic School Parent Council (CSPC) Barbeques have provided opportunities for the community to gather together to share its successes.
St. Luke Catholic School was established in 1973 to accommodate the wave of new Catholic immigrants in the area. On the present site, a large portable unit opened its doors to approximately 200 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. During the initial years, the school served primarily the Italian and Portuguese communities. In 1977, a new building was completed with impressive facilities, a double gym, design and technology, and science rooms. Over the next few years, the school grew immensely, and several portables were erected to serve an ever-increasing population of students, predominantly of Portuguese origin. Presently, due to the large enrolment, every available space is in use for classrooms. St. Luke continues to be proud of its past, its academic and athletic excellence, its Christian environment, school spirit and strong community ties.
When the two schools came together, the name for the new joint school was decided upon by families at both schools, and approved by the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) on June 6, 2016. Pope Francis Catholic School opened September 1st, to house the students from St. Luke and Senhor Santo Cristo Catholic School.
Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III, who died in 741. He was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936.