Saying goodbye to Gettysburg school building

Those with a tie to a Catholic elementary school in Gettysburg are expected at a final open house 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 before St. Francis Xavier School shutters its building at 43 W. High St. for good.
The parish is building a new parish and education center — Xavier Center — on Table Rock Road in Cumberland Township, north of Gettysburg borough.
St. Francis Xavier School will move there this summer, as well as the parish’s religious education program, in time for the first day of school Aug. 30. Mass will continue to be celebrated at the historic, 1853 church on West High Street, although the parish’s other buildings in the borough will be sold, according to the diocesan newspaper.
The parish dates to 1831 and is known for its role as a hospital during the Civil War. At least 200 seriously wounded soldiers were nursed there by the Sisters of Charity following the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.
Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg is expected to bless and dedicate the Xavier Center during a 4 p.m. ceremony Sept. 25.
Another area Catholic school, the 87-year-old St. Vincent de Paul School in Hanover, closed at the end of last school year due to financial shortfalls related to the declining number of school-age children in the parish and growing operating costs.

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