CRANSTON — Alumni, teachers, staff, students and their families filled Saint Paul Church in Cranston on Sunday, Sept. 18 to take part in a Mass of Thanksgiving and look back on a century of faith-filled education.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin joined Father Thomas Woodhouse, pastor, in celebrating Mass in recognition of this milestone anniversary of 100 years.
In her welcome address, Principal Cindy Richard said, “on behalf of the pastor Father Woodhouse, it is my pleasure to welcome Bishop Tobin and all of you who have come to thank God for 100 years of our parish school. Your presence and your prayers are sincerely appreciated.”
Saint Paul Church was founded in 1907. Its first parish census, taken the following autumn, indicated there were 179 families with a total of 770 people. Less than two decades later, enrollment had grown dramatically and nearly 400 students attended Sunday school each week. The need for a parish school was evident.
Despite low wages and high unemployment of the 1920s, the dedicated and faithful community of Saint Paul’s pulled together to raise money for the school.
In early 1921, ground was broken for the school. One year — and one very successful $26,000 pledge drive later, the two-story brick building was finished. On September 11, 1922, Saint Paul School opened with 287 children registered in grades 1-8.
Today, Saint Paul School continues to be a diverse community committed to challenging all students academically, morally and spiritually.
In his homily, Bishop Tobin said he was honored to be invited to celebrate this important occasion and thanked those gathered for their commitment to Catholic education.
“Today we come together to thank God for all the gifts and blessings he has given to the school and through the school for all these years. We pray God will bless you abundantly as you continue your very good and very important work in the days and years to come.”
“No one else can do what our parishes and Catholic schools are doing because they teach us our faith and make God present in the world.”