Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Elementary School celebrated its 50th birthday on September 11th, 2011. What a special treat to celebrate such an auspicious milestone. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped make that wonderful day possible.
Our Mission Statement
The staff of Our Lady of Fatima School is dedicated to providing a Catholic education which supports and encourages each student to reach his/her full potential.
Our Lady of Fatima is a Catholic school centered on a love of God and learning, a respect for all, and the development of each child’s full potential.
Our Lady of Fatima School opened on September 11, 1961, with an enrollment of 250 students. Sisters of the Presentation Order from Youghal Community, County Cork, Ireland staffed the school along with several lay teachers, educating children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The school was administered by religious affiliates for 50 years, but is now staffed by Catholic of Christian lay people.
- 1959: Bishop Gerow came for the church ground-breaking ceremonies on September 20, 1959. Part of the present school and temporary church was soon underway and completed. Religion classes were continued through the service of the Mercy sisters from Nativity. Fr. Hession had a dream to have the sisters staff Fatima full time. Bishop Gerow appointed Fr. Morgan Kavanagh to recruit sisters in Ireland.
- 1961: Fr. Kavanagh visited many Irish convents in search of sisters for Gulfport and Fatima. The Youghal Community, County Cork, gave four sisters from a group of volunteers. The four pioneers from the Presentation Order were Sr. Francis Cooper, Superior and Principal, Sr. Monica Hogan, Sr. Angela Hickey and Sr. Pius Murphy. The school opened on September 11, 1961, with an enrollment of 250 students.
- Our Lady of Fatima School still maintains its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accreditation from the state of Mississippi.
- 1962: The convent (currently the St. Vincent de Paul building) was completed and the sisters left their temporary quarters. Two additional classrooms were added to the school that same year.
- 1961-1987: Sister Monica Hogan served as kindergarten teacher and cafeteria manager/cook at our school.
- Our Lady of Fatima School still maintains its accreditation from Souther Association of Colleges and Schools and Accreditation from the State.
- On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Due to the outstanding dedication of Fatima’s teachers and parents, the school was able to smoothly resume classes in two weeks after the storm.
Our Lady of Fatima School has undergone many physical and internal changes in its 50 years of operation. Pre-kindergarten classes, a physical education program, a new computer lab, an additional north classroom building and playground equipment are among these positive changes. Students are involved in a solid Catholic and academic educational system but benefit from an extracurricular repertoire second to none. The students have numerous opportunities to participate in such activities as the DARE program, poetry contests, city-wide art contests, writing contests, band, Accelerated Reading (AR), science fairs, book fairs, church choir, field trips, visits from community guest speakers, St. Vincent de Paul food pantry projects, and the Saltillo missions. Students attend weekly Mass where they serve as cantors and sing in the choir.
Past Principals of OLF
- Sister Pius Murphy, P,B.V.M.
- Sister Frances Cooper, P,B.V.M.
- Sister Marie Manning, P,B.V.M.
- Sister Damien Murphy, P,B.V.M.
- Sister Eveleen Conlon, P,B.V.M.
- Sister Mary Anne Peltier, M.S.C.
- Susie Bass
Mrs. Cindy Hahn