CRANSTON — St. Paul’s Parish school in Cranston is organizing a gala for the 100th anniversary of its founding of the school to be held on Friday, Sept. 15, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Rhodes at the Pawtuxet in Cranston. Tickets are currently being sold, and will continue to be sold until Monday, August 28.
Both family and individual tickets are available. The event is sponsored by both alumni of the school, parishioners of St. Paul’s, and businesses in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the school. Live music and a silent auction will accompany the Gala.
Tickets are $100. One can order tickets at the official website of St. Paul’s school, www.saintpaulschoolcranston.org, in the section titled “100th Anniversary Gala Tickets.”
St. Paul’s parish was established in 1907. Early in its history, the parish grew rapidly. By 1920, there were 2,500 parishioners and three priests associated with the parish. The parish’s first pastor, Father Michael McCabe, placed a strong emphasis on educating the youth of the parish, and made that his top priority when expanding upon the parish. Many of the parishioners shared this zeal for education. Records of a bazaar held in 1916, for example, show that $5,000 (roughly $140,000 today) was raised for the school. Construction of the school began in early 1921, and the school opened its doors in the Autumn of 1922. At the time of its opening, there were 368 students, thereby filling the school to capacity. Over the next few decades, the school went through several expansions.
Early on, religious sisters associated with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were invited to teach at the school. The sisters lived in a convent near the parish and continued to be associated with the school until the mid 1980s.
While most of the students in the early days were Catholics of Irish descent, being a school in an urban area, St. Paul’s school also had as a noticeable part of its student body students of African-American, Haitian, and Asian descent, something born, in part, out of the mission of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to extend educational opportunities to all.