January 1925: Saint Paul's School Opens

By Katie Mahon, Communications Manager


In the year 1925, many things happened.


The first motel opened in California, “The Great Gatsby” was published, the Grand Old Ole Opry began broadcasting, and the Mount Rushmore National Monument site was dedicated.


For the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, 1925 was a meaningful year as the congregation opened up three schools taught by Blauvelt Dominican Sisters, most notably Saint Paul’s School in Daytona Beach, Florida, on January 5, 1925.

Saint Paul's School in Daytona Beach, Florida
Saint Paul's School in Daytona Beach, Florida

The Sisters of Saint Dominic first became connected with Saint Paul’s Parish through Reverend John J. Mitty, a Pastor at Saint Luke’s in the Bronx. Father John was the one to recommend the Blauvelt Dominican Sisters to Reverend William J. Mullally, the Pastor at Saint Paul’s when he mentioned he was interested in opening a school.


Sr. M. Thomas Carey, OP
Sr. M. Thomas Carey, OP

The first Blauvelt Dominican Sisters who ministered at Saint Paul’s School were Sisters Euphemia, Dolorita, Kevin, and M. Thomas Carey.


In the official Congregation Archives, the first day of school was described as, “On the first day [Jan. 1925] the parents came with the children and attended the opening exercises held in the open air. Before the “Star-Spangled Banner” was finished, many were weeping with joy. Their children would be educated in a Catholic school.”


At the beginning of Saint Paul’s School, there was a total enrollment of 40 students throughout seven grades.


History students at Saint Paul's School
History students at Saint Paul's School

That number would eventually increase as the sisters opened up a first-year high school in the following year, and by 1930, Saint Paul’s would eventually be home to a full four-year high school.


Since then, over 100 Sisters of Saint Dominic have ministered at the school.


Presently, Saint Paul’s School, now known as the Basilica School of Saint Paul, services students from pre-K to eighth grade in Daytona Beach.