The history of Saint Louis Covenant School is rooted in the vision of its former Pastor, the Very Reverend James F. Fetscher. In the fall of 1992, his vision, based on creating Catholic culture for young children while assembling an environment for adult catechesis, would materialize in the form of St. Louis Catholic Preschool. The founding Director and teacher, Mrs. Christine Mathisen, along with Mrs. Mary Blanco, our first teacher assistant, inaugurated the preschool shortly after Hurricane Andrew with 16 three and four-year-old students and their parents forming the first community of families. From the very inception of the school, the parents were actively involved in the life of the school. In accordance with the Church's teaching that parents are the first educators of their children especially in matters of faith, the parents were encouraged to participate in the daily life of the school by volunteering in the classrooms, attending Mass and serving on a school ministry.
In forging this partnership, the parents of the preschool students were invited to be an integral part of the preschool, helping to complete the mission of creating a faith environment for students and their families. Saint Louis Covenant School ministries were formed to encourage the members of the school community to serve our covenant community in word and in action. Through ministry, we come to "be with, before we do for." Serving in a school or parish ministry provides the vehicle to find Jesus in each other, to see His "face" in our brothers and sisters. Working in the covenant community through ministry involvement, parents begin to further comprehend the purpose of community -- to know, love and serve Jesus Christ.
After the initial students left the preschool for Kindergarten, their parents reported that the local educational landscape was missing the teaching of traditional morals and values. Longing for time-honored Gospel values and character formation in the young children of the parish, families petitioned the Pastor to add more grades to the preschool.
At present, the school's enrollment is over 500 students. Saint Louis Covenant School has graduated numerous classes of eighth-grade students who have been successful in Catholic, secular private, and public high schools. God has uniquely blessed the community of St. Louis Catholic Church and Covenant School with the charisms of hospitality, generosity, discipleship, and evangelization. Welcome to Saint Louis Covenant School!
In 1994, after prayerful consideration, the school added Kindergarten where nine children and their families continued to grow in faith, hope, charity, and love. Armed with the petitions from the school families and an inherent desire in many families from the parish, the Pastor invited the Superintendent of Schools, Sister Noreen Werner, from the Archdiocese of Miami to visit St. Louis parish for reviewing the facilities and property to ensure that the appropriate physical space was available to meet the building standards of Miami Dade County and the Florida Catholic. Conference Principles and Standards. The initial visit resulted in a delay of the building of an elementary school as it was determined that insufficient green space was available. The school and parish families, under the guidance of Father James F. Fetscher, hosted multiple prayer vigils and town meetings to better discern the Lord's will for a school. Concomitantly, the community where St. Louis Catholic Church resides elected to incorporate the area. The new village would be called Pinecrest. This now allowed St. Louis Church to go before the new village's Building and Zoning Department.
In 1997, the Village of Pinecrest issued its building permit granting St. Louis Catholic Church permission to build an elementary school. History was in the making at St. Louis Catholic Church! With the approval of the building permit, new challenges were presented. The school had been using the church's classrooms and meeting spaces which would not accommodate additional elementary students. The existing preschool would need a new name, one that would reflect the unique nature of the parish and its school. In conjunction, introspection was required to assess the school's vision and mission. Dissecting the culture of the existing preschool would uncover that the school had created a family of believers; pilgrims on a journey together developing a deeper relationship with God. These families had indeed forged partnerships with each other and the school. It became clear that the new name should have the word "covenant" in it signifying the promise each family made to each other to provide the faith environment they needed to grower closer to God, thus providing strong models for their children.
In 1999, the parish began a building drive in concert with the Archdiocese of Miami's Vision 2000. Pledges were made to help underwrite the cost of the building and architects were hired to design the perfect space for the new elementary school. This process involved the demolition of existing parish rooms to make room for the new edifice. Parish life at St. Louis had always been vibrant and robust but now greater anticipation filled the air!
The groundbreaking began with a ceremony and blessing by Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy in 1999. This celebration would find the parish and existing school families emptying bags of sand into the foundation as a symbol of coming together to build community. A celebratory environment punctuated the air as hundreds of children and adults poured what would become the first level of the school's foundation.
Over the next two years, work continued on the school building.
On August 25th, 2001, the feast of St. Louis the new Archbishop of Miami, Excellency Archbishop John Favalora came to St. Louis to bless the new school building and to join hands in celebration with the joyful parishioners. With this blessing, St. Louis Covenant School was ready to move its students from parish rooms into the new school building. Those students, one hundred and thirty-seven in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade, entered the building on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2001 occupying the first-floor classrooms only.
In the fall of 2002, a second Kindergarten and First-grade class were added. The second class per grade level was added eventually bringing the goal of two classes per grade level from Kindergarten through Eighth grade to fruition. The original preschool continued to attract new students allowing the school to expand and offer three classes for PreK3 and PreK4. An after-school program, Lunch Bunch, was begun in 1994 for preschool students from noon until the regular school dismissal time.
By 2002, the first middle school grade, sixth, had moved upstairs to the second floor.
In the fall of 2010, the parish and school welcomed its current Pastor, the Reverend Paul Vuturo.
Saint Louis welcomed a new principal, Mr. Edward Garcia.