Excerpt from: A Community of Saints: The History of All Saints Parish: 1917-1992
More than 2,200 men and women have graduated from All Saints School since it opened in 1936, and those graduates have gone on to notable accomplishment in the religious, scholarly, business, civic, artistic, and athletic arenas. But perhaps the greatest measure of the school’s excellence is the number of graduates who later sent their own children to All Saints. The loyalty inspired by the school is perhaps the most eloquent testimony to a consistently high quality of education that places All Saints among the very first rank of Catholic schools in Oregon.
All Saints School was conceived in 1924 by Father William Cronin and Archbishop Alexander D. Christie, both of whom envisioned an elementary school as a natural addition to All Saints Church. But the school was born only after prolonged battles in the federal, state, and county courts, and it didn’t open until 1936. Its biggest obstacle was a proposed Oregon state law, colloquially known as the Anti-Parochial Schools bill, which dictated that all school-age children must attend public schools.
While this law was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1925, All Saints’ legal battles had just begun. When the time came to actually build the school, a new county zoning ordinance blocked construction: The proposed site of the school, along Northeast Laddington Court near 39th Avenue, was zoned residential. Eventually, the Oregon Supreme Court overruled the City Council’s zoning decision and the way was cleared for construction.
The new school was a one-story building that was staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. It opened on September 13, 1936, with a student body of about 100. By 1942 enrollment had climbed to 175 students, a student population big enough to tax the capacities of the building and its faculty. By the early 1950s, the student body was so large that the parish had to remodel a 16-bedroom convent in order to ensure that…(click to read more)