“Fides, Scientia et Virtus” (Faith, Knowledge and Virtue)
We’d like to extend to you our warmest welcome to Saint Francis Catholic Academy in Gainesville, Florida! Founded in 2004 and serving high school students from nine different counties, Saint Francis has a rich heritage built on faith, service, and the highest standards of academic excellence. We are always delighted to share what we have to offer with prospective students and families, and we invite you to browse our website, contact us by phone (352) 376-6545, email Mrs. Sandra Fallo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by in person for a tour.
In May of 1983, members of the Gainesville community came together to begin the journey to establish a Gainesville Catholic High School. Twenty-one years later, on August 16, 2004, the doors to Gainesville’s first and only Catholic high school opened, through the foresight of Bishop John J. Snyder, the eighth Bishop of St. Augustine, and the generosity of the Opportunity of a Lifetime Campaign.
The school was built near the site of the first Catholic Church in what is now Gainesville, the mission of San Francisco de Potano, founded in 1606 by Fr. Martin Prieto, a Franciscan Friar. The mission was the first geographical location in the United States to bear the name of St. Francis of Assisi. Dr. Michael Gannon, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, a former priest and the author of The Cross in The Sand: The Early History of the Catholic Church in Florida, petitioned Bishop John J. Snyder to name the new school “Saint Francis”, in honor of St. Francis and the mission church which was destroyed by English and Indian raiders in 1706. The 61 students of the “First Class” of St. Francis Catholic High School, who would graduate in 2008, began their high school career in the old Upper Hall at Holy Faith Parish as the new school building was not yet complete. On August 6, 2004, 111 members of the Classes of 2008 and 2009, along with 21 faculty and staff, began school in the beautiful new building at the top of the hill, which Bishop Snyder dedicated on April 24, 2005.
The first expansion to the school, a new academic wing, was added in 2007, as a result of a major fund-raising campaign spearheaded by Christine Donovan, wife of then-UF head basketball coach, Billy Donovan. In 2016, the name was changed to Saint Francis Catholic Academy, and the tagline, carpe future (seize the future), was added. SFCA remains a four-year, coeducational, college-preparatory and AP Capstone high school, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) AdvancEd, and is a member of the National Catholic Education Association and the College Board.
Saint Francis Catholic Academy, in accordance with the Catholic Faith and the Diocese of St. Augustine, strives to create an environment where students can succeed and grow spiritually, intellectually and athletically so that they can better serve the world as adults.