Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Smith founded the institution as The Auburndale School System in 1966. Their focus was to develop an academic environment where children with all levels of learning ability could be educated on the same campus. Mr. and Mrs. Smith sold The Auburndale School to the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in 1988. St. Benedict at Auburndale opened its doors as a new diocesan school in the fall of 1988.
The Diocese of Memphis announced in the spring of 2000 that St. Francis of Assisi Parish would assume governance of the St. Benedict at Auburndale elementary school, grades Jr.K through 8, effective with the 2004-2005 school year. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School opened its doors as a parish school in the fall of 2004.
SFA currently enrolls 600 students from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade. With over eighty faculty and staff, we strive to promote traditional Catholic values and academic excellence for all of our students
St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio
The St. Francis Statue with the wolf was specially designed and executed for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in 2004. It is 6 feet in height and hand carved in white Carrara Marble. It weighs over 2400 pounds and is in the entry of the school. It was contracted by Assisi House in Chicago, who worked in partnership with Assisi House in Italy. This image of our patron saint reminds all who enter of the love St. Francis had for all creatures and encourages us to pause, pray and reflect on who it is that we are and what it is that we are created to do.
A popular story is told of St. Francis taming a wolf that was terrorizing the people of a town named Gubbio. Francis journeyed out to speak with the wolf and brought peace between it and the people. Because of his courageous acts at Gubbio, the wolf has been selected as the mascot of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School.