Tradition, Values, Academics
In 1951, exactly 100 years after the establishment of the first Catholic parish in Stockton, St. Luke’s Parish was established in a basement of a farm house which sat near an onion patch located in the northern most area of Stockton. Shortly thereafter, construction of our “temporary” church began in 1952. In 1959, the social hall and rectory were completed and our founding pastor, Fr. Moriarity, wrote, ‘our history is only half complete. There is the school convent and permanent church to be considered. We feel it is now necessary to complete our parish plant.”
On March 4, 1959, word was received from the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual help in St. Louis that they would be glad to staff St. Luke School in 1961! The school building was constructed in September of 1961 with four grades and a faculty of Franciscans.
In January of 1965, the “permanent” church was completed. Its design was the then in vogue “church in the round.” It’ semicircular pew arrangement brought its capacity of 950 worshippers close to the altar. The alter and Baptismal font are made from a block of limestone from Chartres, France and the stained glass windows are identical to the special glass used in the Vatican pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.
Fr. Moriarity passed away in 1971 and in the late 70’s, a gym and office space was added. In 1980, a new building housing a gym, locker rooms, restrooms, choir room, religious education room, learning center, school office and principal’s office were added.
At the close of 1981, the Franciscan Sisters were asked to leave. However, the presence of Sisters in a Catholic school was a priority. Fr. Prendergast flew to Rome in search of a religious community to serve our parish and school needs. The Sacro Costato Missionary Sisters accepted to serve! Upon his return, Fr. Prendergast appointed Mrs. Mary Lou Curtis as the first lay principal, one of the first in our diocese! Mrs. Curtis now serves as principal at St. Anthony’s of Manteca.
In the early 1980’2, Fr. Prendergast enhanced St. Luke’s already rich ethnic balance and welcomed thousands of Vietnamese refugees into our parish and began ministering to their diverse needs by appointing a Vietnamese associate pastor. A kindergarten was established in 1982 and a pre-school in 1991. The pre-school is housed in the former church, Moriarity Hall, and run by a full time director and several teachers.
In 2011, Most Rev. Stephen E. Blaire, bishop and chief shepherd of the Diocese of Stockton, entrusted to the Salesian Community and the leadership of Rev. Gael Sullivan, SDB, St. Luke Catholic Parish and Elementary School.
The Salesians long and proud history began on August 16, 1815, upon the birth of its founder, St. John “Don” Bosco! In 1841, he was ordained a priest and in 1859 established the Society of St. Francis of Sales – popularly known as the Salesians. Since its humble beginnings, the Salesians have inspired many to follow the part of St. John Bosco. The Salesians are numbered more than 34,000 priests, brothers, and sisters and located in more than 130 countries! They touch the lives of millions of children and families throughout the world and are now here.
Today, what a blessing it is to have two unique missionary charisms present at our parish school- the Salesians of Don Bosco and Sacro Costato Missionary Sisters! Without a doubt, St. Luke School is one of the most ethnically diverse Catholic schools within the Diocese of Stockton and we are proud to carry on the tradition of excellence in the arms of a Catholic Parochial education that began with our founder!
St. Luke Catholic Elementary School (Pre-K – 8th Grade) offers a unique and wonderful journey of a strong faith-based and rigorous academic education for parish children.
St. Luke School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA). Our teachers are well-qualified and model Catholic teachings. The academic program is rigorous, preparing students for successful matriculation into Catholic preparatory high schools.
For the children of St. Luke School, religious education is an integral part of their daily lives. Multiple faith experiences, religion classes, participation in the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation and opportunities to serve characterize our daily celebration of God’s love.
Extra-curricular activities allow students to develop leadership skills, pursue individual interests and just have fun! Nearly all St. Luke students participate in some form of student activities. Student Senate, athletics, and clubs offer many opportunities for involvement beyond the school day.
St. Luke Catholic Elementary School is located on a spacious eight-acre campus—one of the largest among all the elementary schools in Stockton—and provides a safe and enriching environment for our students. Along with a large playground and an expansive grassy commons, we feature outside basketball and tetherball courts, an assortment of picnic tables with parasols, student gardens, among other attractive features, securely nestled within a perimeter fence.
Our beautiful campus, we believe, expresses our strong commitment to being stewards of the natural environment and fostering an education that understands the importance of childhood curiosity, imagination, and physical play.