Historic Foundations

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Nestled in the historic south Jacksonville neighborhood, and dedicated to St. Joseph from which both get their name, San Jose Catholic School, like its surrounding area, is steeped in rich heritage and strong traditions. The vision and goals of the pastors, sisters, and faithful people of San Jose Parish more than fifty years ago is very much alive and reflected in the school, staff, and student body.

SJCS began educating students in August 1961, under the guidance and direction of Monsignor Danaher and the Navan Sisters of Mercy. Mother M. Therese, Sister Enda, Sister Patrick, and Sister De Montfort, along with three lay teachers, opened the school with 184 students in six grades. These devout and dedicated sisters from Ireland brought with them a belief that Catholic education was a lifelong process. It was their mission to provide students with a strong Catholic foundation that would nurture and educate the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, physically, and socially. This same commitment to Catholic values remains the mission statement of San Jose Catholic School.

With architecture reflecting the Spanish influence of the area, the sprawling, untamed twenty-five acres in 1961 have given way to a beautiful and serene campus. State-of-the-art classroom buildings, science labs, media center, early childhood learning center, gymnasium, athletic fields, cultural and community centers are all a tribute to the many families who have made SJCS their apostolic mission for a half-century. Dedicated on Thanksgiving Day in 1968, the Shrine of the Holy Family, its altar, fountains, and bell tower remains symbolic of that commitment to faith, family, and community.

San Jose Catholic School’s diligence in building an academic and spiritual legacy that goes beyond the doors of the school continues to grow. Through faithfulness and a willingness to share the gifts of Christ’s love with others, students, families, faculty, and administration strive to seek opportunities to serve. SJCS students are passionate about helping others. For the past fourteen years, the annual SJCS Musical has enabled the school to make donations of over $40,000 to the The Guardian Catholic Schools scholarships. In 2004, students raised over $14,000, which was used to build homes for seven families in Jamaica.

At SJCS we are proud to be “fifty-three years young.” SJCS is thankful for all the many blessings we have received. We continue to seek new ways to grow and renew through rediscovering and sharing values and traditions that have been our foundation since 1961. As we reflect on the past, live in the present, and look to the future, the San Jose Catholic School family will continue to be devoted, faithful, and committed people of God who strive to do His holy will in all things.