In the late 1950's, then Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley of St. Augustine, FL, asked the Sisters of St. Joseph to open schools for children with special needs. He believed that every child deserved a Catholic education and the opportunity to receive the sacraments. This showed tremendous foresight on the part of Archbishop Hurley and soon there were five Morning Star Schools throughout the state of Florida. Morning Star Catholic School, in Orlando, FL was established in 1960 for children challenged by Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, and other Intellectual disabilities.
Since Morning Star opened, more than 2000 students have passed through its doors, all better prepared to face the monumental challenges of their world upon graduation. No child has ever been turned away from Morning Star Catholic because of race, religious preference, or an inability to pay. On opening day, six students attended Morning Star Catholic. Today there are sixty students enrolled. We are able to serve children ages five through twenty-nine. Morning Star Catholic has always had a strong academic orientation with an emphasis on reading, math, and language arts. Beyond that foundation, we have a broad and varied program of activities including: computer instruction, adaptive physical education, speech development, social skills training, outings and field trips, Boys and Girls Club, "Best Buddies" program, and other activities such as Special Olympics, which get our students involved within their communities.
Morning Star Catholic School is truly a unique place where we are blessed to serve God’s children who have special needs. We are blessed to work to make a difference each day in the lives of these students, affording them the opportunity to be the best they can be. Teaching and being with these students daily is carrying out the message of the US Bishops in their doctrine – “To teach as Jesus did.”