To celebrate the school's 50th anniversary, these third-graders bought new clothing to be given to foster children.
Sharing 50 years of their gifts at St. Edward
The burgeoning city of Newark, known for its vast wheat fields, didn't know it would be growing something much more valuable than grain.
In 1963, Father Thomas Gilbert, pastor of St. Edward Church, and Sister Rosaleen Stoiber, OP, the pioneer principal, opened the doors of St. Edward School, blessing the 150 children enrolled with Catholic education.
His dream of starting an elementary school had come to fruition when Father Gilbert was asked by a local developer, tasked with building new homes in the area, if he'd like a school built as well. Opening with first, second and third grade classes, St. Edward School added a new grade every year, and became a fully staffed institution by 1968.
While Father Gilbert was instrumental in getting the school built, Sister Rosaleen, a Dominican from Mission San Jose, helped build the school's mission, vision and character. She reflected on her five years at St. Edward School saying, "When I began I was the third grade teacher, secretary, bookkeeper and principal. My office was in the back of the classroom and I taught a few of my students how to answer the phone when it rang during class time. Being young and 30 years old I had an unbelievable amount of energy and thrived on challenges. The students energized me as did the parents and so I only stopped to sleep at night. These early families were faith filled and so the children were easy to instruct in the values and facts of their Catholic religion."
Guided by the pillars of prayer, study, service and community, she and the nine other Dominican Sisters who have served as principals since the doors opened in 1963, carefully nurtured the school's Catholic identity, which still embraces the charisms today. Though the sisters no longer walk the halls on a daily basis, St. Edward is proud and honored to be an affiliate Dominican school. The teachers' commitment to living and proclaiming the Gospel has helped the school thrive as a faith-filled community dedicated to nurturing all students.
In celebration of St. Edward School's 50th anniversary, the pupils and their families are giving gifts to children in need. Following in the footsteps of their foundress, Mother Maria Pia Backes, OP, who served the poor, the vulnerable and youth, St. Edward School is participating in the Sleep Train Foster Kids New Clothing Drive. With more than 60,000 foster children in California, this birthday outreach helps the students to show compassion and generosity for children just like them. Pupils have donated new clothes for children from their particular grade.
On Sept. 28, St. Edward School celebrated its 50th anniversary with joy and heartfelt gratitude. Former principals and staff, Dominican Sisters, alumni, parishioners, and current school families reunited with one another and shared stories of their experiences at the school. This festive event ended with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ.
back to top