St. Francis Xavier Parish was established in 1904. The Parish was named in honor of St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary whose mantra was “that all may be one.” A church was built, and on January 10, 1910, a four-room combination convent/school was opened. The school initially housed four Sisters of Providence who welcomed thirty seven students. The Parish flourished and a new Gothic-style church was built, along with the two school buildings that now stand at the corner of 9th and Linden in Wilmette.
Over the years, countless religious and lay people have helped St. Francis Xavier become what it is today. Under the guidance of its Pastor, Father William Sheridan, St. Francis Xavier is home to an active and vibrant community. The school’s Principal, Colleen Barrett, builds upon a long-standing tradition of academic excellence. In 2010, SFX proudly celebrated its 100th year of educating young hearts and minds and currently boasts an enrollment of over 425. Students test in the top percentiles of the nationally standardized Terra Nova, and meet or exceed the Wilmette District 39 average on the New Trier Placement Test. St. Francis Xavier is proud to play an influential role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders.
The school’s Crest is rooted in its rich history, and is a synthesis of its history and guiding principles. The book represents wisdom, learning and the quest for academic excellence. The winged foot represents athletics and the importance of physical fitness. The celtic cross pays tribute to the strong Irish community who founded St. Francis Xavier at the turn of the century, over one hundred years ago. The cross also speaks to the significant role that faith plays in the student experience at St. Francis Xavier School.
The IHS above the cross is an abbreviation of the name of Christ in Greek letters. St. Ignatius Loyola adopted a variation of this symbol as the seal of the Jesuit order, which St. Francis Xavier helped to establish in 1541.
The Helmet is a symbol of the school’s mascot, the Crusader, which is rooted in the notion that St. Francis Xavier was a missionary who travelled across the globe to spread the word of Christ.
The Checkered Background in the school’s Crest comes from the Coat of Arms of the Xavier family from Spain, ancestors of the patron saint of our school. “Fides Illuminat Viam,” inscribed below the Crest, is the school’s motto. Roughly translated, this means “Faith Guides the Way.”