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Northwest Side school to be named after Pope Francis

Archbishop Blase Cupich | Sun-Times file photo

Archbishop Blase Cupich announced Saturday that a new regional Catholic school slated to open next year on the Northwest Side will be named after Pope Francis.

Four current schools — St. Cornelius, Our Lady of Victory, St. Pascal and St. Tarcissus — will be consolidated to create the Pope Francis Global Academy, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The two new campuses at St. Pascal, 6143 W. Irving Park Road, in Portage Park, and at St. Tarcissus, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave., in Gladstone Park, will open in the fall of 2016. The school will offer preschool through eighth grade, and the curriculum will focus on math and science, world language instruction and the humanities.

Nearly 500 people helped choose the name from four finalists: Pope Francis, Mother Teresa, St. Francis and the Blessed Frederic Ozanam.

“It is vital that we, as responsible Catholics, provide the opportunity for future generations to have access to a Catholic education,” Cupich said in the news release.

“The decision to create this new school is a tangible representation of our continuing commitment to benefit our children, their families, our faith and civic communities. This new beginning on the Northwest Side of Chicago is but one of the first steps we are taking to build a sustainable system that ensures a transformative Catholic education in Chicago, Cook and Lake Counties,” Cupich said.

The regional plan, which has been controversial among some parents of Catholic school children, is part of a consolidation move by the Chicago archdiocese.