In 1989, Maggie Daley approached Father Jack Wall, pastor of Old St. Pat’s, with a bold vision. She wanted to create a school where children would receive an academically excellent education along with a foundation to guide them to become hardworking individuals armed with a strong moral compass. A place where all families in the school would embrace and accept all faiths, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and all the things that make us unique. The boldest part of this mission would be that 30 percent of this school’s students would receive financial assistance and that the tuition would be kept as low as possible.
Father Wall gladly accepted and the two began a private search to find a principal for this new endeavor. Sister Mary Ellen Caron came to the table with fresh ideas and an immediate passion for building such a school. So, with just a few families behind them, they opened the doors to their first classrooms, which were located inside Presidential Towers in the West Loop.
Twenty years later, FXW has grown to become one of the most sought after schools in the city. Our mission still remains at the heart of everything we do.2012-2013 FXW Profile
Who was Frances Xavier Warde?
Mother Frances Xavier Warde was born in Ireland, orphaned early, and possessed an indomitable spirit and a love of the poor. Even from original documents, it’s difficult to chart her activity, as she travelled extensively and founded many institutions of service and education all across the country. With a few Sisters of Mercy, Mother Frances Xavier Warde came to the U.S. in 1843 and was called to Chicago by the Bishop in 1846.
Within two years, the spirited Mother Frances Xavier Warde had begun a girls’ academy and a parochial elementary school. Her faith and energy led her to four more states to establish other schools, orphanages, and hospitals. Once she had accomplished her goals in a location, she looked toward the future. Mother Frances Xavier Warde was an unstoppable and compassionate woman.
Fast forward to the 1990’s. A group of parishioners from Old St. Patrick’s Church wanted to begin a school that would include the religious, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of Chicago. Impressed by the work of Mary Ellen Caron in reviving an inner city school, these people approached her and asked that she lead this effort. With a lot of energy and spirit, Mary Ellen agreed to help. She was an inspiration to those she recruited to establish the school.
The Frances Xavier Warde School, like Mother Frances Xavier Warde and Mary Ellen Caron, is an energetic, spirited and unstoppable institution. We are proud to bear Mother Frances Xavier Warde’s name and work hard to live up to her spirit of hospitality and fearless determination to provide Chicago’s children with an excellent, service-oriented education.