South Carolina School Reaches Out to Community for Help

Rebecca Doel In the Headlines

GREENVILLE, S.C. — For more than 50 years, St. Anthony of Padua School has been known for providing a quality education to children from lower-income families “on a shoestring and a prayer” according to a recent article in The Greenville News.

The school boasts an alumni base that includes a judge, an actor and other professionals and corporate executives.

“The nuns who were our instructors gave us a good educational background; but they also taught us discipline, independence, compassion and ethical values,” said Rogeriee Thompson, federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals’ First Circuit, in “Greenville Catholic school seek public’s help as it plans new home.”

Unfortunately, the 55-year-old school building is crumbling. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church, told the newspaper, “The walls are literally dissolving. The windows are broken. The roof has over 26 leaks in it.”

So, rather than try to repair the existing structure, the parish began a fundraising effort last year and has already received pledges for more than $3.4 million — enough to cover the costs of construction.

Now, the parish is asking the wider Greenville community to help support this valuable resource. The school needs an additional $1.6 million “for operating costs to make the transition over three years,” according to the article.

The March 22 article echoes the same sentiment as a short video that Patrick began promoting in January. The video highlights the mission of St. Anthony’s and includes testimonials of what the school has meant to its graduates.

St. Anthony’s School and Church grew naturally out of St. Francis Hospital, when friars began holding prayer services with hospital workers in the downtown hospital’s basement, according to the Greenville News story. Through the years, Holy Name Province friars have offered a variety of ministries to the community including healthcare and housing solutions, Hispanic ministry, presentation of Franciscan Mystery Players meditations, and outreach to young adults through collaboration with area colleges.

— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.