Since the founding of the Congregation of the Mission, the Vincentian Order, in 1625, and the Daughters of Charity in 1633, teaching the basics of Christianity has played an important role in their ministries. From the initial congregation of slaves on the de Gondi estates in France to the modern-day Holy Trinity Catholic School, education has been pivotal in the development of a true Catholic community.
In 1914, a small wooden building was purchased from the school board of Highland Park and was moved over three miles to Holland Avenue. Here, it came to rest as the first Holy Trinity School, all of two rooms. Staffed by two Daughters of Charity, Sisters Clare Hoch and Mary Michael Ryan, the school opened its doors on October 12, 1914, with an enrollment of thirty-two children.
The first graduating class received their diplomas in Holy Trinity Church in 1918. Of the four graduating students, three entered the religious life, reflecting the importance and success of early religious instruction.
Of course, the children of the early twentieth century enjoyed many of the same pastimes as the children of today do, although their motivation may have been slightly different. That first class in 1914 organized a baseball team that played every Friday afternoon. The prize for the winning team was a delicious strawberry cake, baked by Sister Mary Michael.
As the parish grew, so did the enrollment at Holy Trinity School. In the 1920s the school moved to a new building behind the residence of the sisters, then located at 3811 Oak Lawn (the present site of the rectory). In 1925 a ‘Little Red School House’ was built, but in just a few years, it too was bulging at the seams. In time, a frame building (presently the De Paul House) was added and the grades were split, with the sixth, seventh and eighth grades occupying the new addition.
In 1946, the Reverend Michael Dillon, pastor, began drawing up plans to update the red brick school building and work was done in the summer of 1947. The renovation was completed under the guidance of Father Thomas P. Stanton, who succeeded Father Dillon after his untimely death. With the newly remodeled school, enrollment swelled to over 500 by the early 1950s. In 1956, plans were made by the Very Reverend Charles E. Cannon, pastor, for an addition consisting of two classrooms, athletic locker rooms, assembly rooms, library, information center and storage and equipment rooms. The Seton Educational Center was completed in 1957 and is still serving the school and parish. Our most recent addition has been the multi-purpose Community Life Center which serves both the parish and school with a beautiful gymnasium and meeting rooms.
In 1963, Holy Trinity was the first Catholic elementary school in Dallas County to receive accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department. Academic excellence and achievements as well as extracurricular activities have always been a part of our school.
After almost 75 years, the Daughters of Charity withdrew from our school faculty in 1987. Our school is now staffed by wonderfully qualified and caring lay teachers dedicated to the Catholic education of our children.
While the curriculum has changed dramatically since that first class in 1914, the purpose of the Catholic education provided by Holy Trinity School has remained constant, with emphasis on spiritual development as well as intellectual development. Holy Trinity is the oldest continuously operating Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Dallas. As such, we have watched the city of Dallas grow up around us. Because of our central location, we serve families from all over the city of Dallas including the fast-growing Uptown area. We are proud that our rich tradition continues to inspire academic excellence in our students today.