Faith in the Future
2011 School Report
The current site of DePaul Catholic was originally St. Francis of Assisi Parish School, built in 1966. In 1986, due to a declining Catholic population in the Germantown area, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia combined St. Francis of Assisi, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Madeline Sophie Schools to form St. Martin de Porres Interparochial School.
The name of the consolidated schools was inspired by the words of Wanda Scott, St. Madeline Sophie School class of 1987. She wrote in May of ’86:
“(Saint Martin de Porres) was my choice because of his love for Jesus and his strength to heal people of their illness and sorrow. He was rejected by his father when he was a baby because of the pigment of his skin. Even though his mother was black, his father expected him to have the pigment of a Spanish person as himself. If the new school was named after St. Martin de Porres, everytime someone would look at the name on our school, they would think of the courage and greatness it took for this man to live without his father and come to grow spiritually and mentally to heal others. Later on in his life he did meet with his father and his father was amazed and proud to see how his son had grown up to be a fine person. In our prayers we ask St. Martin de Porres to pray for our families, our students, and our faculty. We all look to you for guidance and strength as we pursue our spiritual and academic goals in life.”
With the merger, St. Martin de Porres School experienced much change. In its first year, the school had a student body almost 500 strong, but by 2003, those numbers fell to 181. It was at this time that the Administration and Pastors decided that their needed to be a fundamental change in St. Martin’s, in order to avoid the closing of the sole Catholic grade school in Germantown. After 2003, with the institution of new programs, St. Martin’s enrollment grew. In fact, the enrollment continued to grow year after year mainly due to its reputation of an innovative academic institution. Currently, our enrollment is around 300 students.
A big contributor to the recent success is the initiation of the three Academies. For more information on the Academies please visit the “Mind“ Section of our website.
In the spring of 2009, the Pastors and Administration were granted permission from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to change the name of the school from Saint Martin de Porres Interparochial School to The DePaul Catholic School. The reason behind the most recent change was to a) Avoid inevitable confusion between Saint Martin de Porres (24th and Lehigh) and Saint Martin of Tours (Northeast Philadelphia), and b) to embrace the traditions of our Vincentian roots.
In December 2011, The DePaul Catholic School officially launched its separate 501-c3 known as The DePaul Promise, which allowed the school the option to operate financially independent from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Currently, The DePaul Promise, Inc raises money for student scholarships. With the Blue Ribbon Commission’s evaluations of the Archdicoese of Philadelphia, many changes to the Catholic schools were imminent. The DePaul Catholic School was one of the few schools not impacted by the decisions to close or merge. Unfortunately, our sponsoring parishes, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Vincent de Paul were asked to merge (along with Immaculate Conception) at the site of St. Vincent de Paul Parish. Then, in the spring of 2012, The DePaul Catholic School was named a Philadelphia Independent Mission School (See an article Here and check out more articles about our school here). We are looking forward to this new partnership!