On August 8, 1913, four Holy Child sisters left their community, homes, and friends in England and traveled to Oregon with the intention of starting a new school and community. One month later, another group of four followed. Relying on their faith and love for God, the sisters faced tremendous obstacles as they came to rest on 53rd Street in Portland, Oregon.
St. Rose School opened on November 24, 1913 with six children and two Sisters of the Holy Child, Mother Mary Genevieve and Mother Mary Bernadette. The sisters lived in St. Philip Neri Parish and traveled to St. Rose by foot and by street car. The area of the church and school was described in their letters home as “wild woodland” and impossible to reach by car.
The first St. Rose School was conducted in a home near the current school. By 1948 there were twelve classrooms, twelve sisters and 387 children. Because of this increase in enrollment, plans were made to enlarge the ever-growing school. Another two-story wing was added in 1956.
In 1979 the Sisters of the Holy Child left St. Rose School after teaching at the school for sixty-six years. Faced with the new challenge of declining enrollment in the early 1980s, the neighboring parishes of St. Rose and St. Charles consolidated in 1986 to form a new school, Archbishop Howard School. A full-day pre-kindergarten class was offered as an extension of the kindergarten through eighth grade program beginning the fall of 1986.
Thirty years later in 2016, the school restored its name to the original St. Rose School to foster a greater connection to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, of which the shool is its primary mission. Throughout its 100-year existence, parishioners and families have worked hard to share the Catholic faith with the children at the school. Today we continue the tradition of excellence in education begun so long along.