Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have a long history at St. Xavier Mission School that celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. New Vision, the official newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson tells the story.
The school was started in November of 1864 with a $250 Territorial Government grant. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet began teaching at San Xavier in September of 1873 and were at the school until 1932. They were followed by the Immaculate Heart Sisters who, in turn, were replaced by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. Finally, in 1940, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity arrived and have been present ever since.
Over the years the school was kept operational by money sent from the United States government, various religious communities, religious Sister’s families and many other benefactors.
Today’s mission to educate and support the Tohono O’odham children continues to be supported by the daily presence of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and the Franciscan Friars.
The school’s main building has been through many renovations. A renovation in 2000 added four classrooms and a computer lab. It was the result of a large capital campaign that was supported by many southern Arizona businesses and many private donations. The school now has one grade per classroom, new restrooms and a computer lab.
There are currently 148 students enrolled. Through tuition support organizations such as Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO), Arizona Leadership Foundation (ALF), Institute for Better Education (IBE) and many individual contributions, students receive tuition scholarships. These scholarships help families choose a Catholic school for their child at a low cost tuition.