Superior’s first parochial school opened its doors in East End to 142 students in grades 1-8 in September 1883.
When the school closed almost 100 years later, students transferred to Cathedral School.
But now, the students who once gathered in halls and classrooms of St. Francis Xavier School are planning an all-class reunion this weekend.
Events begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, with a rosary at St. Francis Xavier Church, followed by a concert of Catholic hymns at 3 p.m., a Catholic Mass led by the priest at 4 p.m. and a reception of classmates, friends and families in the parish hall with a traditional cafeteria-style lunch at 5 p.m.
The festivities continue at 6 p.m. with a gathering at Pudge’s Tavern in East End.
“It was a wonderful grade school,” said Becky Kurtz, who attended fifth through eighth grade at St. Francis in the early- to mid-1960s. She said everyone who attended the school, no matter how briefly, is welcome to the reunion.
St. Francis Xavier School was started by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who operated the school for 50 years. It closed in June 1983 because of low enrollment, said Mary Margaret Sitek, a former secretary for the school who is now the secretary at St. Francis Xavier Church. She said when the school closed, students transferred to the newer Cathedral School, bolstering its population because both schools had low enrollment at the time.
The school stood at the corner of 24th Avenue East and East Fourth Street.
The convent that once housed the nuns, and the school, was purchased and converted into apartments after the school closed, Sitek said.