Our History

History of St Francis Xavier’s School

Our school was born out of a need for more access to Catholic Primary Education.  Three parishes joined together and took up the challenge to support the concept of a regional Catholic School: St David’s (Tea Tree Gully), John XXIII (Modbury), and Holy Trinity (Para Hills).

The school opened in 1983 on a site that was once part of the Wynn Vale vineyards.

Today with its strong Catholic ethos and quality education, St Francis Xavier’s enjoys a positive reputation as a caring and productive school enviroment in the Wynn Vale area and surrounding community.

Our Saint

Who was St Francis Xavier?


St Francis Xavier was born in northern Spain on April 7th, 1506. He takes his name from the family castle where he was born – Castle Javier (Xavier). He was a founding member of the religious order the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), along with St Ignatius Loyola, and was part of the famous ‘vow of Montmartre’ where the Jesuits were formed on August 15th 1534 in Paris. The Society’s mission was to take the message of the Good News to people everywhere. On June 24th 1537 he was ordained a priest.

St Francis Xavier died on December 3rd 1552. He had preached and baptized in India, Southeast Asia, and Japan but was not to fulfill his dream of bringing the Gospel to China. Stories of his work and adventures - some from his own letters, others in reports by those who knew him or knew about him - had already made his name famous in Europe and helped spread the Jesuit missionary effort to other continents. Francis Xavier died on an offshore Chinese island, and news of his death took over two years to reach Europe.

Images, paintings and statues of Francis Xavier that drew upon fact and legend added to his fame. Famous contemporary artists such as Peter Paul Rubens in Italy and Flanders and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in Spain painted images of Francis Xavier.

People who knew him said that he was of medium to tall height, that he walked with a joyful, calm face, and that often his eyes were moist and gazed upward. Friends regarded the portraits as true to life.

The departure of St Francis Xavier and his companions for missions marked the start of the Society of Jesus’ involvement in proclaiming the Gospel beyond Europe. In a sense, his departure came to symbolize the Jesuit’s readiness to be sent on a mission anywhere at the Pope’s request.

The cross was one of the most important symbols of Francis Xavier’s missionary activity. He is often depicted preaching or baptizing while holding a cross. In mission lands, the sacrament of baptism, where non-Christians became members of the Christian Church was extremely important.

Today we are interested in his efforts to learn foreign languages, to wear local clothing, and to learn from the people in the lands he worked in.

St Francis Xavier believed in the Good News of Jesus and of sharing that message of hope with all people. He spent his adult life going to far away lands and teaching the people about Jesus.

Today we can follow in Francis Xavier’s footsteps, not by going out to faraway places, but by being people of hope for our friends, family and people we meet.

If we live the message of Jesus and do the things we are called to do, then we are carrying on the mission of Francis Xavier in our everyday lives.

St Francis Xavier's Primary School

 R-6 Co-educational Catholic School

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