Our Lady Help of Christians School was established in 1935 under the guidance of the Paulist Fathers and the Daughters of Mary and Joseph. The charism of the Paulist Fathers is rooted in the belief of sharing the Gospel through the Holy Spirit by evangelization, reconciliation, and ecumenical and inter-faith relations. Founded by Father Isaac Thomas Hecker on July 7, 1858, the Paulist priest charisms are the embodiment of the Paulist priest identity. Our school community experiences the charisms of evangelization, reconciliation and ecumenism through interactions with our Paulist priests during school and parish Masses, regular classroom visits, and various outreach programs.
The charism of the Daughters of Mary and Joseph is that they are to be “God’s instruments of compassion and mercy”. This charism characterizes all aspects of their relationship with our students, staff, and parents. The principles of education as written by their founder, Canon C. G. Van Crombrugghe, are rooted in love. Currently, there are two religious sisters of the Daughters of Mary and Joseph working at Our Lady Help of Christians School. The charism today is the same as it always has been. The following quote by Van Crombrugghe further describes the charism of the DMJs teaching at Our Lady Help of Christians School today: “If you are filled with the spirit of prayer, your teaching will never distract or harden hearts.” These women serve as echoes of Jesus’ life and inspire all members of the school faculty and staff, students, and families every day.
In the decades since its founding, the school has expanded from its original six classrooms to the current twenty-two; adding a science lab, library/media center, choir/music rooms, early literacy lab, art studio, and athletic gym. Most of this development was led by Sister Stella, principal of Our Lady Help of Christians School for 48 years.
The school now enrolls 554 students each academic year in double classrooms for grades DK-8, offering a rigorous education of the whole person, helping prepare students for success in high school, college, and life. We have also had the opportunity to enhance our campus and our students’ academic experience with permanent classrooms for Spanish and music classes. Most recently, the school foundation supported the installation of a maker-space in the science lab as a part of our STEAM initiatives.
We continue to grow in 2018 as we open our Developmental Kindergarten class for children age 4. The addition of a vibrant learning space for our DK and renovation of a multi-use space for our After School Enrichment programs provides these young “Saints-in-Progress” a solid foundation to grow in their faith, friendships, and academics. We are so excited to add this opportunity for our expanding community!