Msgr. Joseph Donahue, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, founded St. Francis of Assisi School to accommodate its parishioners and neighboring families. Staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, St. Francis of Assisi School opened its doors in September 1957 to grades one through four.
Sister Mary John, its first principal, guided the school in its earliest years. Enrollment quickly grew so that by the early to mid sixties, grades five through eight were included in the curriculum.
The Sisters of Charity remained at St. Francis throughout the sixties and early seventies. By the early eighties only four teaching sisters remained along with Principal Sr. Honora Curran.
The educational offerings were extended in September 1987 when St. Francis opened a Kindergarten program to nurture children and prepare them for first grade. The 7th and 8th grade programs were discontinued in 1990. In the early 1990s, extended day programs were added for the convenience of the school families and to financially help the school.
Also in the early 1990s, under the guidance of the Pastor Fr. Paul Ruzzo, negotiations began with the Manchester Airport for the purchase of the St. Francis Parish complex so that the airport could expand its runway system. Those negotiations came to fruition in 1998 when a purchase and sales agreement was signed. The parish acquired a beautiful 18+ acre site off of Sterling Road in Litchfield, NH. The new church and attached school were dedicated in July 2000.
Today, with our chaplain Father Jeff Statz, St. Francis School educates children in PreSchool through Sixth Grade. With the help of God and the hard work of those committed to seeing our school succeed, St. Francis School is alive and well.