History of the Divine Redeemer School
The former St. Mary Catholic School was built in 1891 in Ford City, Pennsylvania and served the community until 1958, at which time it was razed to make way for the modern school building of today. From the beginning, the school had been staffed by the Sisters of Divine Providence.
The former Holy Trinity School, also in Ford City, was built in 1913 and a portable school was then added in 1923. In 1962, the portable school was torn down and an addition to the school was completed. Beginning in 1943, the Vincentian Sisters of Charity staffed the school.
In spring 1973, it was decided that to economize and better utilize faculty, books, etc., Holy Trinity and St. Mary schools would become Ford City Catholic School. The south building would house first through fourth grades, while the north building would house fifth through eighth grades.
In spring 1977, it was decided to add the kindergarten grade level to the existing program.
Due to a drop in enrollment for the coming school year, in spring 1985 a decision was made to discontinue grades seven and eight at Ford City Catholic School. At this time, all grades, kindergarten through sixth, would be housed in the former St. Mary School, while Holy Trinity School would be used for religious education classes for public school students from the consolidated parishes of St. Mary, St. Francis, and Holy Trinity.
Five years later, it was decided Catholic preschool was needed in the Ford City area. Therefore, in September 1990, a preschool program was added to Ford City Catholic School.
In summer 1996, St. Mary School in Kittanning was closed. The Sisters of St. Joseph from Baden, and Father L. A. Carroll had established the Armstrong County parochial school for the Catholic community of Kittanning in 1906. The school was a mainstay in the community until it was regretfully closed. The sisters sustained and taught at the school until its closing and many of the former St. Mary School students (preschool-grade 6) then joined Ford City Catholic.
In August 1997, Bishop Anthony G. Bosco decreed that Ford City Catholic School be named The Divine Redeemer School.
In 2004 after 135 years, St. Mary Academy in Freeport, renamed in 2000, was closed due to declining enrollment. In 1869 a school was opened at St. Mary’s as a rented room in Freeport until a brick schoolhouse was built beside the church in 1873. Over the years, the school provided a Catholic education for thousands of students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Some students matriculated to The Divine Redeemer School in 2004.
At present, we offer a first-rate education to approximately 150 students in preschool through grade six. Our students come from the following sending parishes: St. Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Kittanning; Christ Prince of Peace, Ford City; St. Lawrence, Cadogan; St. Mary, Mother of God, Freeport; St. Mary Ukrainian, Ford City; St. Mary, Mother of God, Yatesboro; Christ the King, Leechburg; Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Vandergrift; as well as non-Catholic churches throughout Armstrong County.