St. Pius X history: Savannah churches, community opened doors to classical education during segregation – Entertain…

It was the Catholic church that opened doors to a powerful education, even though they were to segregated classrooms, inside parish churches. It took until the mid-20th century to open St. Pius X High School on Anderson Street, now the home of Savannah Classical Academy.

As early as 1897, missionary Franciscan sisters started caring for African-American orphans and abandoned children in what is now known as St. Benedict, according to memoirs from the Society of African Missions American Provence, which helped start schools for African Americans in Savannah and other areas.


The SMA members were invited to the Diocese of Savannah in 1907 by the Right Rev. Benjamin Keiley to catechize and educate African Americans, according to Diocese documents. Keiley assigned the parish to Father…

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