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All Souls Catholic School


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All Souls Catholic School celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the school in 1954.

The school was founded during the pastorate of Father Richard Lyons after a fund raising campaign netted the money to purchase the property adjacent to the church owned by the Chase family.

In September 1954, All Souls School opened in the remodeled former garage of the Chase family estate which was purchased by Father Richard Lyons with Sister M. Veronita as the first principal.

All Souls School in Sanford opened on Sept. 7, 1954. The school was staffed by Sisters of Christian Charity of Mendham, NY. They  arrived in Sanford by train on August 23, 1954.

Four classrooms were constructed in the former garage of the Chase estate. Flooring of tile, pastel walls, glass jalousie windows and modern furnishings were featured in the classrooms. The former Randall Chase home on the lot was furnished as a convent. The playground area had a double basketball court.

The faculty included: Sister Veronita, superior; Sister Ventura, Sister Mary James and Sister Germaine. Mrs. James Stafford conducted a kindergarten under the supervision of the Sisters.

The first All Souls Catholic Church was constructed in 1887 and burned to the ground on January 25, 1932. The second church was dedicated on July 4, 1937, exactly 50 years after the cornerstone was laid for the first church by Father Felix Prosper Swembergh.

The 1954 school was not the first associated with All Souls Catholic Church. The first school was called “St. Anne’s” and was run by two Sisters of Mercy – first in a home (still standing) at 823 Park in Sanford and then in the structure on the far right in the photo below. This rare postcard, shows the rectory (built in early 1911 for the first resident pastor Father Patrick J. “PJ” Bresnahan), the first church (constructed in 1887) and the  home for the Sisters of Mercy and their St. Anne’s School (completed by May 1912) as they stood prior to the fire of January 25, 1932.

The Sanford section of the Tampa Tribune, December 23, 1911, p. 11 states: “The Sisters of Mercy, who recently came to Sanford and are conducting a school will soon have a handsome home on South Oak Avenue. They will continue their school in the new building. The property on which the home is being erected is owned by the Catholic Church.”

The May 10, 1912, edition of the Tampa Tribune (page 3) states: “The convent and home for the Sisters of Mercy that has been built on the property of the Catholic Church, in the enclosure with the church, is so near completion that the sisters, who are conducting the school, have moved in, and the children are receiving instruction in the new building, which from the exterior, seems to be ample for use as a school and also a home.”

The children gave many “entertainments” during the year and many are reported in great detail in the Sanford Herald down to the song sung or poem recited and by whom (SEE Documents below). This blurb from the Tampa Tribune, December 26, 1912, p.9 is brief and to the point: “The Christmas exercises of the Sanford Catholic school taught by the Sisters of Mercy, were given Monday evening in their splendid new school building. A most excellent and appropriate program was well rendered, and was very much enjoyed by the large audience. The children acquitted themselves most creditably.”

READ  ABOUT ALL SOULS CATHOLIC PARISH 

READ ABOUT ALL SOULS CATHOLIC CEMETERY

READ ALL SOULS SUNDAY BULLETINS 1953-1968

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All Souls Catholic School 60th Anniversary

Invitation to attend festivities surrounding the 60th Anniversary of the founding of All Souls Catholic School in Sanford, Florida.   

All Souls Catholic Church 1887 and 1937

Photographs of All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford, Florida. The bottom photo is that of the first church for which the cornerstone was...

Post Card - All Souls Catholic Church, rectory, school circa 1914

Postcard of All Souls Catholic Church, rectory, and parochial school circa 1914 between 9th and 8th street on Oak Avenue.   Black and white...

Father Felix Prosper Swembergh

Photograph affixed to card with this inscription: Our Martyr Priest who died in Tampa, October 31, 1887. From the Mahoney Collection donated...

Diploma All Souls Catholic School 1957

All Souls Catholic School diploma to member of the   second    class to graduate the ninth grade.  The graduates  includ...

All Souls Catholic Church - Sanford, Florida circa 1920

Color postcard of All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford, Florida circa 1920. The cornerstone  for the church was placed by Father Felix Prosper...

All Souls Catholic School - Ninth Grade Graduates 1959

Students graduating from ninth grade at All Souls Catholic School in Sanford, Florida are featured in the  Thursday, June 4, 1959 edition...

All Souls Catholic School - School Addition 1959

Photograph and article published in The Florida Catholic on July 3, 1959, p.1, heralding the ground breaking for the school addition at...

All Souls Catholic School - Good Citizenship Award

In May 1967, students at All Souls Catholic School in Sanford were the sole Florida recipients of the Good Citizenship Award from...

All Souls Catholic School - Basketball Champions 1974

All Souls Catholic School basketball team claimed First Place in the Orlando Diocesan Championship Basketball Tournament in 1974. The March 15, 1974...

Sisters of Christian Charity - All Souls Catholic School 1961

The Sisters of Christian Charity taught children at All Souls Catholic School in Sanford for many years beginning with the opening of...

All Souls Catholic School - Sisters Leaving 1969

A photograph of All Soul's  Pastor Father William T. Keane and the Sisters of Christian Charity  were featured in the June 13,...

All Souls Catholic Church - 2008 Church

Image of the third All Souls Catholic Church located on Highway 46 in Sanford, Florida, dedicated in 2008. VIEW THE 2008 DEDICATION ALBUM

All Souls Catholic School - Group Photo 2013

This amazing photo captures the entire student body, staff and Father Richard Voor and his dog O'Henry in the school courtyard where they...

1st Day of School 1977 - All Souls Catholic School

Photographs of All Souls Catholic School students Paul Teslo and Susie Eckstein were published in the Sanford Herald in 1977 with the...

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All Souls Catholic School 60th Anniversary - postcard

All Souls Catholic School postcard invitation to festivities surrounding the 60th Anniversary of the opening of the school in 1954.


All Souls Catholic School 60th Anniversary - postcard

All Souls Catholic School postcard invitation to festivities surrounding the 60th Anniversary of the opening of the school in 1954.


All Souls Catholic School Addition - Groundbreaking 1959

Published in The Florida CatholicÔÇï on July 3, 1959, this photo captured the groundbreaking for additional school classrooms at All Souls Catholic parish in Sanford in 1959.
Shown in the photo is Father Richard Lyons, who spearheaded the establishment of All Souls Catholic School in 1954.
The school was established in a refurbished garage on the former home site of the Chase family at the corner of Oak and Ninth in Sanford. The Chase home was converted into a convent for the Sisters of Christian Charity with their leader, Sister Veronita.


All Souls Catholic Church - Dedication of new Church 2008

A special dedication booklet was created for the Dedication of the new All Souls Catholic Church - many years in the planning! It features photos of the construction site from the beginning of the process to the completion of the new Church.

PLEASE NOTE: The history presented in the dedication album has several errors. 

As an example, the history in the album states that Father Bresnahan because the first resident pastor at All Souls in April 1911, but  Father Patrick J. "PJ" Bresnahan  actually  arrived at All Souls   in October 1910  and said his first Mass  on Sunday, October 23, 1910, as stated in the October 14, 1910 edition of the Sanford Herald (emphasis added).

County Happenings. "Will Have Resident Pastor"

   Last Sunday [October 9, 1911] Father Fox officiated for the last time as pastor of the Catholic church in Sanford. This church he has served continuously for eighteen years, having received his appointment from Bishop Moore in 1892. That period of time witnessed the prosperity and the adversity of the old and the birth of a New Sanford and during it all the pastor stood by his flock. He now leaves regretfully when the New Sanford is in a vigorous and promising adolescence and when the prospects of his church are brighter than they ever were before. But these improved conditions and increased congregations make changes imperative. Hitherto Sanford was a mission, it will now have a resident pastor and be the centre of a surrounding missionary field. The church will be in its normal condition with pastor and Mass all Sundays and weekdays.

   A rectory, to house the new pastor, will be of immediate necessity and there is hope that at no distant time there will be erected a convent and school to aid in the work of keeping New Sanford clean, cultured, and Christian.

   The Rev. Patrick J. Bresnahan, until recently of Tallahassee, will succeed Father Fox. He is not unknown to the people of Sanford, having replaced the Pastor five years ago when the latter made a trip to Europe. Father Bresnahan is strong physically, and interested in base ball and other sports. He is, too, strong mentally and morally and will be a decided acquisition to the city in the works of citizenship and civic nature. Father Bresnahan will take possession of his charge, Sunday, 23rd inst. [October 23, 1910]

Another example deals with the date the rectory was completed and when the Sisters of Mercy arrived and started St. Anne's School. The date mentioned in the History in the Dedication is "before 1913" but the dates are much earlier based on newspaper articles in the Sanford Herald.

Sanford Herald, April 28, 1911, no page number, col. 1-2.

Parochial Residence of Father Bresnahan. The Catholic Church.

   Among the many changes and improvements, that have been made in Sanford during the past six months, by no means the least was raising of the district to the dignity of a Catholic parish so great was the influx of Catholics to Sanford and neighboorhood [sic] that a resident priest was found to be absolutely necessary so that the spiritual needs of these Catholics may be attended to accordingly towards the end of October 1910 the Rev. P. J. Bresnahan formerly diocesan missionary of this diocese of St. Augustine was sent hither by his bishop to organize a new parish a Catholic census showed almost 50 Catholic families in town, and a catechism class with an enrollment of about 40 children.

   The church is constantly increasing its membership and is now probably the strongest church in the city. The material improvements made have attracted the attention of every citizen. For within four months after his arrival Father Bresnahan found himself in a beautiful parochial residence erected by his enthusiastic congregation at a cost of not less than $2500. A beautiful new altar and has been installed also an organ. And now there is talk of the sisters coming to establish a catholic school on the other side of the beautiful building block owned by the church in Sanford.

Still another example deals with the opening date of the school run by the Sisters of Mercy - St. Anne's School.

Sanford Herald, September 29, 1911, page  12, col. 2.

New School Opens.    
The Sisters of Mercy started their school at Park Ave. and Ninth street last Monday [September 25, 1911]. For the present they accept pupils for the kindergarten and grammar school only, owing to lack of accommodations for high school pupils. A new school building is to be put up on the Catholic Church property in the very near future, and then they will be in a position to receive those seeking opportunity for higer [sic] studies.  The pupils now in attendance tax the building they occupy. A number of music pupils as well as some for painting have been enrolled.   NOTE: Peter Schaal in, "Sanford as I knew it 1912-1935," p. 4 states: "April 16, 1912 ... I was a student at St. Anne's school, 831 Park Avenue* (later the home of Mayor T. L. Dumas)... The school operated in that building from September 25, 1911 to late **1912..."

*The 1912 Sanborn map shows the address as 823 Park, the last house on the block. The 1920 R. L. Polk Sanford Directory, p. 58, shows Thomas L. Dumas resides at 823 Park. The 1915 Sanford City Directory indicates that James C. and Mollie A. Roberts resided at 823 Park in 1915. Based on these three resources, it seems likely that the school was first located in the house that currently sits at 823 Park.
** The May 10, 1912, Tampa Tribune states: "The convent and home for the Sisters of Mercy ... is so near completion that the sisters ... have moved in, and the children are receiving instruction in the new building ..." 

 


St. Anne's Catholic School - All Souls Catholic Parish

Articles published in The Sanford Herald  provide precious details about the first parochial school  affiliated with All Souls Catholic Church and Parish in Sanford.  Operated by the Sisters of Mercy nuns,  St. Anne's Parochial School  opened its doors to students on September 25, 1911,  in a home at 823 Park Avenue at the corner of Park and 9th in Sanford, Florida.

The Sanford Herald, published on  September 29, 1911 (p. 12, Col. 2), states that the school opened on September 25, 1911 and that a new school building would be constructed on the church property (a full block bordered by 8th, Oak, 9th, Myrtle).

New School Opens.    
The Sisters of Mercy started their school at Park Ave. and Ninth street last Monday [September 25, 1911]. For the present they accept pupils for the kindergarten and grammar school only, owing to lack of accommodations for high school pupils. A new school building is to be put up on the Catholic Church property in the very near future, and then they will be in a position to receive those seeking opportunity for higer [sic] studies.  The pupils now in attendance tax the building they occupy. A number of music pupils as well as some for painting have been enrolled.  

 

The new school mentioned in The Sanford Herald article above,  constructed north of the church was completed in May 1912  as reported in  the  May 10, 1912, Tampa Tribune  which  states: "The convent and home for the Sisters of Mercy ... is so near completion that the sisters ... have moved in, and the children are receiving instruction in the new building ..." 

For more information on events at the school from September 1911 through December 1912, read the DOCUMENT below.

 


All Souls Parish - Sanford Herald 1908-1912

Excerpts from The Sanford Herald newspaper from 1908 through 1913 (at this time). Includes Fathe Fox's last Mass, arrival of first resident pastor - Father Patrick J. "PJ" Bresnahan, arrival of the Sisters of Mercy and their St. Anne's School, school entertainments, school picnics at SanLando Springs, the construction of the rectory, and more.

This is an on-going project and more will be added in the future.


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