St. Francis of Assisi: a Hidden Gem

November 16, 2018


courtesy of Laura Gandia

Litchfield boasts its beautiful farms and rolling landscapes, but it is also home to another hidden gem, St. Francis of Assisi School, which just received national recognition by being named to the Catholic Education Honor Roll. St. Francis of Assisi School was recognized as a Catholic Education Honor Roll School. The national honor roll program is directed by the Cardinal Newman Society and recognizes high-performing Catholic schools nationwide. St. Francis of Assisi School, one of just 44 schools on the current list, is the first New Hampshire Diocesan school to have received this recognition.

St. Francis of Assisi School engaged in a thorough internal and external review of its comprehensive program offerings before being awarded this status. It has received specific recognition for its strong integration of Catholic identity throughout its efforts, including the integrity of its mission, the strength of its community, and its rich spiritual life. The honor roll also recognized the school’s efforts toward integral formation of the minds, bodies, and spirits of its students as well as its comprehensive academic program that seeks to instill a Christian vision of the world and human wisdom and culture.

“The honor roll is a helpful tool for families and benefactors in recognizing the quality of a Catholic school,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “It is external validation that a school is both focused and successful in meeting the high calling of Catholic schools to serve the well-being and salvation of students and to serve the common good.”

Dr. Denise Donohue, coordinator of the honor roll, stated, “We are very pleased to have St. Francis of Assisi School join in the nationally recognized ranks of excellence; this is a select group. The school has well demonstrated they are successful in meeting the key principles that guide Catholic education.”

St. Francis of Assisi School’s Principal Mark Schwerdt remarked, “It is great affirmation for our school to be recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll. This distinction confirms our commitment to the mission of Catholic education. Congratulations to the students, parents, teachers, and staff for their hard work in assuring a fidelity to the Catholic Faith permeates all that we do.”

St. Francis of Assisi School is a Catholic school that is rooted in an experience of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Students in preschool through sixth grade receive a lasting foundation that is both joyful and complete. For more information, visit