Sister Virginia Bento and the members of her Council looked over various sites in the Bristol County area before the decision was made to build in Warren. At the time, there was a great need for a girls' high school in this area. As a Catholic Institution, FATIMA would provide a solid academic foundation for its students in preparation for college, help them to strengthen their faith and to become Christian leaders in society and within their families. When FATIMA opened its doors to the first fifty-five students on September 8th, 1965, the school building consisted of the classrooms, the library, the science and art laboratories and a double room to be used for several purposes. One of the classrooms was converted into a Chapel. The school also served as housing for the Sisters who were members of the staff. The gymnasium and cafeteria were completed in 1969, in time for the first Graduation ceremonies, and the convent was ready for occupancy in 1977. As a private institution, owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Dorothy, all funding for the school was provided by the Sisters. The Principals have been: Sisters J. Sousa, Isabel Borg-Cardona, Mary Ann Campanelli, Lillian Cravinho, Eileen Egan and Mary Margaret Souza. As the needs of society and of the students changed, so did the curriculum. Courses were added and others were deleted in view of the appropriate preparation for higher learning. The computer lab was modernized, a full-time computer teacher was hired, and more computers were purchased, in order to give all students the opportunity to become proficient in their use.
By this time the school population included girls in Grades 7 and 8. In 1985, the 20th Anniversary of the foundation of our school, and the year that the Foundress of the Sisters of St. Dorothy was canonized, FATIMA became co-educational under the leadership of Sr. Lillian Cravinho. This decision was made primarily because of the declining enrollment. At this time, Mr. Joseph Sousa was hired as assistant principal. The number of boys increased steadily and now comprises fifty percent of the student population—which numbers approximately 200 students.
When the school opened in 1965, the faculty consisted only of religious Sisters. After a brief period of time a layman was hired to teach Social Studies and Physical Education. The faculty now consists of five women religious and fifteen lay persons. Five members of the faculty are FATIMA Graduates, among them Mrs. Maria Levesque who has been teaching at the school for the past 30 years. There are currently eight male faculty members. Within the past ten years, under the leadership of Sr. Mary Margaret Souza, the Guidance Department increased to three Counselors, each serving two classes. One of the Guidance Counselors is also an Admissions/Recruiting director, and a director of Development has been added to the Staff.
Curricular changes continue to be made to provide students with the skills necessary to meet the demands of a changing world. Diverse athletic and extracurricular activities make every attempt to meet the growing diversity of the student body. Emphasis continues to be placed on the spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social and physical development of each student, in accordance with the pedagogical philosophy of St. Paula Frassinetti.
As members of a Catholic community, students are encouraged to recognize their giftedness and to utilize their talents to improve the quality of their own lives and the lives of others. A variety of clubs heightens the students' awareness of the need to work for social justice, for the right to life at all levels, and for service in all its forms. Now in its fourth decade, FATIMA remains committed to the goals of educating and preparing young people to accept and assume responsibility for Christian citizenship and leadership, in accordance with the challenges of its Mission, with an eye toward the future.
School Level High school
School Membership(s) National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)Other school association(s)
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Grades Offered Grades 7 - 12
County Bristol County, RIStudent Body
Total Students 181 students
Student Body Type Co-edStudents by Grade
Grade 7 - 14 students
Grade 8 - 9 students
Grade 9 - 47 students
Grade 10 - 35 students
Grade 11 - 34 students
Grade 12 - 42 students