About Our STEM Elementary School in Northeast Los Angeles
Divine Saviour is a parish school that welcomes all families to learn fueled by our Catholic faith! We focus on STEM and have a multi-age model in which all students learn to work collaboratively, independently, and creatively. Our students learn in faith and in academics all while following the Servite Tradition! What is the Servite tradition? It is the charism of the Servants of Mary founded 800 years ago in Italy by a group of seven men seeking to become closer to God. This charism permeates all aspects of our STEM school with formation opportunities for faculty, parents, and students to learn how we can model Mary’s example. While other Catholic elementary schools form students solely in academics and faith, we additionally form students in the Servite Tradition with our Student Formation Outcomes.
Our caring teachers continue a tradition of almost 100 years of Divine Saviour educating the youth of the Los Angeles Cypress Park area and beyond. Our STEM school welcomes students of any faith tradition and work with families to make Catholic STEM education affordable. Divine Saviour also welcomes students who speak Spanish.
Divine Saviour Catholic School, in partnership with parents, provides academic preparation integrated with a Catholic education and the promotion of Christian values to develop knowledgeable, loving disciples who transform the world.
Divine Saviour School, a Catholic elementary school serving the Cypress Park area of northeast LosAngeles, seeks to create for students, faculty, parents, and the surrounding community, an environment in which the academic subjects are integrated with the religious truths of a belief in the Gospel message of Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Family. Service. Mary. Divine Saviour forms every student in the Servite charism of Family Spirit, Service, and Following the Example of Mary.
Divine Saviour Parish was established in 1907 alongside the Southern Pacific freight yards that bordered the Los Angeles River. A“working man’s” parish, Divine Saviour was built primarily by and for the Polish residents who worked for the railroad and lived in the area. Father J.W. Organisiak of the Society of the Divine Saviour received permission from Bishop Thomas Conaty to open the mission for Polish speaking Catholics. Early records do not clearly explain the choices of the parish name, but as a member of the priestly order, it can be assumed that devotion to the Divine Saviour strongly influenced the title.
Father F.A. Wekenman is credited with the building of a new school in1922 and church in 1924. Fr. Wekenman asked the Superior General of the Sisters of Loretto to open the school in the Fall of 1922. Four Sisters of Loretto were sent to start classes in the large, Spanish style building that was dedicated on October 2, 1922. During that era, German and Irish names began outnumbering the Polish followed by the Italians. The pastors have included: Msgr. Anthony Jacobs of the Netherlands from 1928 to 1930; Msgr. Thomas Morris of Ireland; Msgr. Maurice Dee and Msgr. Maurice Ryan who served until the start of World War II.
During the next twenty years, the Sisters and an increasing number of lay teachers taught. Two short term pastors followed, Msgr. Joseph Bauer and Father Thomas Noonan. When Father David Barry of County Cork became pastor in 1959, he initiated plans for a new church building before his death in 1963. The old church of 1924 was bulldozed in 1964. In1966, during the pastorate of Father Charles Dignam, the new building was dedicated. Serving for four years each after the new church was built were Msgr. Kenneth O’Brien of Massachusetts and Msgr. Leland Boyer of Sacramento. In the Fall of 1983, Kindergarten was opened. In 1975, Father Thomas Boudreau of Long Beach became pastor and continued for 30 years. As schools across the country transitioned from being taught mostly be religious, our situation was no different, though we still exist to serve like the Sisters of Loretto. Unfortunately, as the Sisters of Loretto’s numbers declined, they found it necessary to withdraw from the school in 1978 and a lay principal was appointed. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet moved into the convent and one nun began teaching in the school. This continued until 1994, when the teaching nun could no longer stay. Today, Sisters in the Los Angeles Province serve in education, health care and social service agencies.
Divine Saviour Catholic Elementary School in northeast Los Angeles became a member of the STEM Network in 2019 as one of three schools in the first cohort.