St. Angela Merici, a 17th century Italian woman who founded a teaching order of religious sisters, is the Patron Saint of St. Angela School. She is known for bringing education to the children of rural communities of Italy, saying to the women in her order, “Build community wherever you go.”
The strength and resilience of St. Angela School depends upon community, in this case the one built in Austin by the Sisters of Providence and then sustained by the Sisters of Mercy. The generous support of this community, and their faith in St. Angela School’s mission to provide a high-quality, faith-based education for all students and prepare them for a life of leadership, is what keeps the school alive and thriving.
No Catholic school is able to fund everything they need with tuition. To give you an idea, the stated tuition at St. Angela school for one child in 2020-21 is $4,100, which is $2,000 less than the actual cost of educating that child. So, from the beginning, even if parents are paying full tuition, St. Angela School must find a way to subsidize that tuition with an additional $2,000.
St. Angela depends on donors for that subsidy, and the school is extremely fortunate to have donors who are generous enough that the school is also able make improvements to its campus and strengthen programs for the boys and girls of St. Angela School.
The St. Angela community spirit is alive, showing up at extended family gatherings throughout the Northwest suburbs, in St. Martin de Porres Parish when many former St. Angela parishioners still worship, in the second and third generations of alumni still enrolled at St. Angela, and in social events designed for the purpose, events like The Marty Jordan Bowling Bash. The “Bash” honors the late Marty Jordan, who organized a yearly bowling event at Circle Lanes in Forest Park to raise money for charity. The event, now run by Marty’s widow, Maureen, his brother Dan, and Dan’s wife, Mary Ann Conrick Jordan, lives on in his name. All proceeds go to St. Angela School.
The powerful and positive effect of donors can be seen at St. Angela through the recent “Green Dreams” renovations on the exterior of the building and inside the school in the recently upgraded gymnasium. Donor gifts allow St. Angela School to continue working in service of students and the Austin community, carrying on the legacy for another 100 years.
—LUCIA WHALEN, Contributing Reporter
Follow these links to all of the other individual stories in the St. Angela School special section: