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History of Pope Francis Global Academy

4 Parishes, 2 Campuses, 1 School

Pope Francis Global Academy was born of a strategic plan to create a Regional Catholic School on the Northwest side of Chicago. This collaborative effort among our four founding schools and parishes was designed to deliver an experience of academic excellence, while growing the Catholic presence among our four distinct communities.

The planning process consisted of three teams of people – local/school/church community members, regional educational and thought leaders/representatives, and Archdiocesan staff/consultants  – working together to evaluate, analyze, and make recommendations on the model, structure, and curriculum of our new school, Pope Francis Global Academy.  

Now, in our third school year, Pope Francis Global Academy has taken the best of nearly 400 collective years of experience and Catholic school traditions between our four founding schools, and melded it with the most forward-thinking strategies in education today. Our “new” school, complete with a new name, new mascot, new school colors, new curriculum and many new traditions, has become a beloved community to our students, staff, and families.

The four founding member schools and sponsoring parishes are: Our Lady of Victory, St. Cornelius, St. Pascal and St. Tarcissus.  Pope Francis Global Academy serves as the parish school for each of these, and our students and families continue to worship and serve within these parish communities.  

The pastors of each of our four founding parishes serve as the spiritual leaders of our school and together share the pastoral duties related to the school.  Please learn more about our founding parishes here:


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Pope Francis Global Academy School Identity

The Pope Francis Global Academy school colors are maroon and gold, both of which are reflective of our patron, Pope Francis.  Maroon is often used as a Jesuit school symbol and Gold is a traditional Papal color.  

Our school mascot is the Wolf, derived from a beautiful story about St. Francis of Assisi, the namesake and patron of Pope Francis. "The Wolf of Gubbio", so it goes, had been terrorizing the Italian town, attacking villagers eating livestock. The mayor summoned Francis of Assisi to ask for help as he was known to have a special ability to communicate with animals.  Francis of Assisi met with the wolf, who explained he was injured and hungry and unable to travel with his pack.  He had no other means of finding food and was reluctantly stealing from the farmers. 

After prayer and contemplation, Francis of Assisi returned to the village with the wolf and told the people, “He has the same needs as you and only wants to eat and not go hungry. Can the people of Gubbio feed him if he promises to never again take the lives of the people and their animals? Remember, our Savior taught forgiveness. He taught us to love our enemies.” 

The village ultimately forgave the wolf and  provided him food. Thereafter, the wolf protected the village of Gubbio and all its' people.

As "pack animals", wolves work together as a team for the betterment of the whole.  They are loyal and committed to the success of the group because they recognize the importance and value of each and every member. Communication and collaboration are key skills that wolves utilize to find success together.

This is a wonderful model for our students and our community as we work to become one "pack" with big goals for the entire group.