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Saint Francis High School

The Amazing Mission of Saint Francis High School

There are many things that make St. Francis High School a very special, dare we say magical place. It is where young men uncover their God given gifts and grow into the men they are meant to be. It is a family in every sense of the word, where there is a thoughtful kindness and a loving acceptance, regardless of culture, race, or religious tradition. 

Early Beginnings:

Founded in 1946, St. Francis High School is a private, Catholic college preparatory school in the Capuchin Franciscan tradition for young men. The school is owned and directed by St. Francis High School of La Canada Flintridge, a non-profit religious corporation. The Board of Directors is comprised of Capuchin Franciscan Friars and lay members, and is the governing body of St. Francis High School.  

St. Francis High School was originally the Flintridge Country Club. The late Fr. Stephen Murtaugh OFM Cap. purchased the grounds on behalf of the Capuchin Franciscan Order for the purpose of founding a junior seminary for aspirants to the Order. Archbishop John H. Cantwell requested that day students also be admitted along with the seminarians. The doors to St. Francis High School officially opened in the autumn of 1946 to a small group of twenty-five young men. The school celebrated its first graduating class in 1950 – this past May, one hundred fifty-eight Golden Knights joined the ranks of our beloved alumni.

True to its Mission:

With seventy-six years in the rearview mirror, St. Francis remains true to its mission to develop faithful men, loving brother, virtuous leaders, and dedicated learners in the Capuchin Franciscan tradition of love, discipline, and prayer. Family spirit continues as one of the hallmarks of St. Francis High School through activities, camaraderie, and service with the Booster Club and the Mothers’ Guild. With its college preparatory curriculum, nearly thirty advanced placement and honors courses and recent collaboration with Glendale Community College, students are rewarded with college matriculations across the country, at colleges and universities of all sizes and pedigree. Perhaps most noteworthy, is St. Francis’ commitment to enriching the mind yet not at the expense of the heart. Character development, deepening spirituality are prioritized. Set in the Catholic tradition, and orchestrated through a Franciscan lens, our Franciscan Spirit and Life program is truly unique. Sixteen Franciscan virtues: acceptance; brotherhood; compassion; charity; faithfulness; generosity; goodness; gratitude; hospitality; humility; integrity; joy; peace and justice; prayer; service; and simplicity, provide the foundation for this program that includes grade-level retreats, culminating with a senior-year Kairos retreat, as well as a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, service trips to the marginalized and an active LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) team of student-leaders. In the coming school year, we intend to debut another pilgrimage opportunity to the Camino de Santiago.

Investing in Education, Sports & the Arts:

Athletics have always played an important role. There have been coaching legends, team championships, and individual standouts. Known and recognized for its positive sportsmanship, student-athletes train and compete at some of the best facilities in the state. Multiple investments have been made, and funded through capital campaigns, to provide safe and contemporary facilities for training and competition. In addition, our Sports Medicine program has won multiple competitions and led to many graduates pursuing a career in kinesiology. 

At the turn of the century, St. Francis and its Board of Directors made a critical strategic decision to invest in the Visual and Performing Arts. Given the success of its student-run television program, KNIT, a dedicated Performing Arts Center, with a 300+ seat theater was built. Theater has been an extraordinary blessing to our campus, our young men, and our community. 

Many Thanks:

We are forever grateful for our shared vision and shared commitment to enriching the minds and hearts of young men. Prayerful and financial investments in our annual giving (St. Francis Fund); scholarship (financial aid); and building and program endowments have shaped our past and present – and allow us to dream big for our bright future. Benefactors are loyal friends, walking with us on this journey.

Golden Knights and their families continue to recognize and give thanks for continuing the Capuchin Franciscan mission of enriching the mind and heart; fostering a spirit of brotherhood; caring for students as much as teaching the material; supporting the whole development of students and teaching beyond the classroom. St. Francis High School is truly a blessing, and it has been blessed beyond measure!


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