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This Catholic school was the first to integrate in Fort Worth before it was mandated

Our Girl of Victory Catholic University is ending a 111-12 months period of educating young children on its sprawling campus south of downtown Fort Value, but the nuns who saved the school going are not leaving.

The final day of faculty for the 70 girls in Kindergarten as a result of 8th quality was May well 26, but the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur are having a special celebration for the group from midday to 5 p.m. Saturday at Our Woman of Victory Catholic School, 3320 Hemphill Road.

The day will start with an invitation-only Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Olson.

”This is a school that we have extensive nurtured and cherished,” said Sister Patricia Ridgley, Regional Top-quality of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur.

Ridgley said various things led to the tough decision to near the school, which includes declining enrollment and other education solutions these types of as charter colleges and moms and dads with economical hardships.

“We have been tracking these many elements in training, and we have not been able to defeat these stresses,” she reported.

Principal Linda Kuntz in entrance of Our Woman of Victory Catholic Faculty in Fort Truly worth. The faculty is closing immediately after serving Fort Well worth learners for over 100 yrs.

Ridgley additional that the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur is an ageing congregation and no for a longer time have the methods to support the college.

But the sisters are not leaving the campus that opened in 1910, and Ridgley said they are discovering other takes advantage of for the house in holding with the school’s mission of educating intellect, body and spirit.

The Hemphill corridor is producing, she reported, and Ridgley explained the sisters are calling on alumni and others to assist “dream a massive aspiration.”

“We’re praying and consulting just before we make that decision. We’re being in the community we want to be superior neighbors,” she mentioned.

Selection to near

Former learners who attended Our Lady of Victory explained the decision to near is unhappy, but they understand the challenges the nuns are facing.

Susie Reyes, who went to the university through the 1960s right until she attended Nolan Catholic Significant Faculty, explained the sisters produced a unique surroundings the place she felt comfy and risk-free.

“I was not really shocked simply because you can see that it has transpired with other Catholic universities not only in this spot but in the course of the state. It is very unhappy that the elementary school has to near,” she explained.

Reyes reported she has fond memories of her Kindergarten class where she started to understand about numbers and how to read through.

“The school was normally some put exactly where I felt cozy. I was never ever fearful to go to school,” she mentioned.

Reyes said she also stays in contact with the sisters of St. Mary of Namur, going to them and attending Mass with them.

“As I have grown more mature, I recognize far more and far more the Catholic education and their (the sisters) higher degree of supplying and support to the community,” she stated.

Tradition and heritage

In accordance to the school’s web site, the sisters who arrived to Fort Worth ended up instructing at Saint Ignatius Academy in 1908. The academy was up coming to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Fort Worth. The university was whole, and the nuns sought house to build another school to teach small children in Fort Value and outside of.

The sisters negotiated the buy of 26 acres at the close of the trolley line from downtown.

The Our Woman of Victory College and Academy opened in September of 1910.

In 1953, Our Lady of Victory turned Fort Worth’s initial absolutely integrated school. Sister Teresa Webber was liable for earning the choice. Quite a few white students still left, but the nuns persevered in educating kids.

Development Director Lori Franklin decorates a room for the final open house at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Fort Worth. Mass will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with an open house following from noon to 5 p.m.

Advancement Director Lori Franklin decorates a home for the last open up home at Our Lady of Victory Catholic University in Fort Truly worth. Mass will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with an open household subsequent from noon to 5 p.m.

Ridgley stated the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur initial arrived to Texas in 1873 to construct schools.

When Our Girl of Victory was built, it charge $160,000 which interprets to $4.5 million 100 a long time later, she reported.

“When the sisters observed a need for yet another school, they would use the collateral from other faculties to get the financial institution financial loans,” she reported.

“These gals had been so audacious when they made a decision to start out on the plains of Fort Worthy of,” she stated.

The traditions and record of Our Lady of Victory are also crucial and meaningful to Mary Martin, who graduated from the 8th quality at the faculty prior to she graduated from Nolan Higher College.

Martin later returned to educate 7th and 8th-grade English and science prior to switching professions, but she remained concerned with the school, serving on boards, and undertaking other volunteer perform.

“I experienced a shut relationship with the sisters. I just felt so liked by the sisters. They just have this sort of a kind, caring nature about them,” she said. “They want to see their pupils excel and improve up that are cognizant of social justice and operating for peace.”

Martin explained how numerous sisters were being artists, and she took artwork and piano lessons in the convent even though increasing up.

1 of her distinctive memories is of the Fantastic Shepherd statue on the playground donated by her good great uncle, John Laneri.

“No matter what happens with the facility, I hope the statue of the Superior Shepherd can remain and seem out over the property,” Martin mentioned.

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