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Chicago, IL (August 24, 2009) — Officials of the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools and the Board of The Frances Xavier Warde (FXW) School have announced a new form of governance for the school.  Within this new structure, members of the Frances Xavier Warde Association of the Christian Faithful: A Catholic Community Committed to Excellence and Diversity in Education, appointed by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, will assume governance of the school beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.

The Frances Xavier Warde School operates from two locations: Holy Name Cathedral Campus, serving students in grades 4 through 8, at 751 North State Street, and the Old St. Patrick's Campus, serving students in grades pre-K through 3, at 120 South Des Plaines Street.

“I am confident that the time and expertise these Board members will share will strengthen The Frances Xavier Warde School so that it may continue offering an excellent Catholic education, training future generations of young men and women to excel in their studies, grow in holiness and contribute to the common good,” said Cardinal George.

“The Second Vatican Council anticipated and called for lay leadership of our Catholic institutions, and Cardinal George has approved this transition,” said Sr. M. Paul McCaughey, O.P., Superintendent of Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools.  “With an already strong Board committed to the Catholic mission and academic excellence for the children of Chicago, The Frances Xavier Warde School will continue its mission in a vibrant way, sharing a relationship with the Archdiocese of Chicago in a way similar to schools sponsored by Catholic religious Orders.“

“The Frances Xavier Warde School is pleased to be a pioneer in this new model of Catholic education, which is based on a few simple and powerful premises.  All of Chicago’s children deserve to receive an exceptional education and Catholic children, as well as children of all faiths, can learn from each other and celebrate their shared values,” said Mary Reiling, Head of School.

Fr. Thomas Hurley, pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Parish, the founding site of The Frances Xavier Warde School twenty years ago, said, “Having earned a great reputation because of its commitment to excellence in education, celebration of diversity, and having carried on the dream of the Second Vatican Council’s vision for ecumenism, I am delighted that The Frances Xavier Warde School has advanced yet again through its new model of leadership.  Along with the people of Old St. Pat’s, I look forward to continuing this life-giving relationship with the mission of The Frances Xavier Warde School and its lay Board of committed leaders.”

The Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral, Fr. Daniel Mayall, noted that it was lay Catholics who conceived and nurtured The Frances Xavier Warde School and promoted the ingredient of diversity. “The parishes do not govern FXW, yet we have supported and continue to support a unique Catholic elementary educational model in Downtown Chicago. The excellent accomplishment of FXW grads, who hit the ground running, testifies to the success of The Frances Xavier Warde School.  Holy Name Cathedral is happy to support that noble apostolate,” he said.

Prospective families are invited to visit the school’s website at or contact Sue Smeaton at or 312-798-4058 for more information.

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