From our earliest days on Elizabeth and Walker Streets, Xavier has been marked by courage, resilience, and a deep concern for the education of intelligent, motivated young men of diverse backgrounds and means.
Beginning on December 3, 2021—the Feast of St. Francis Xavier—and continuing throughout the next year, we will celebrate Xavier's dodransbicentennial through events, publications, videos, testimonials, and rotating exhibits on this anniversary site. For 175 years, Xavier has formed young men to go forth and transform the world for God's greater glory. May our mission thrive for another 175 years—and beyond.
One must observe that Xavier has lived and grown side by side with this remarkable city, through years of incredible changes, of persecution of Catholics, cultural shocks and literally millions of immigrants, depressions, wars, poverty at times almost impossible. One could say that the success of the school can be measured by the distinguished roster of honored graduates successful in every profession, the leaders in every field. Yet for a Catholic school such is not the measure of success. The nourishing, strengthening and deepening of faith, the sharing of the vision of Jesus Christ, the spread of the Kingdom of God, are the ultimate goals of Xavier. ... We can but judge that through so many years, with patience and courage, Xavier has labored for these goals.
Servant of God Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus,
November 12, 1972, on the occasion of Xavier's 125th anniversary
Here men are molded from generation to generation as if by a spirit that survives all persons and all circumstances. The things we have been most conscious of are our comradeships, our companionships and an indefinable something that made the very words '16th Street' words of enchantment recalling scenes and teachers we loved. ... You may fairly judge a school by the love men have for it—or the indifference. By this standard Xavier is the greatest school in the country.
Thomas Curran 1916 P'49, New York Secretary of State, April 26, 1947,
marking Xavier's 100th anniversary
With time, all the memories connected with old St. Francis will grow tender, joyous. The bricks, the walls, the desks, will rise up and appeal to you, as though they were living things. Voices, too, you will hear. The Jesuit teacher's voice is never mute. Every 'old boy' hears it clearly as he wanders out on the plain that skirts the river. As the chorus of sweet memories grows fuller with the years, the sense of obligation deepens, the value of service done grows more and more apparent, the spirit of loyalty grows stronger. Such is the experience of every 'old boy'—at least, of every St. Francis 'old boy.'
J.A. Mooney 1859, The Xavier, June 1897, on Xavier's 50th anniversary