Mission & History
The Community Learning Campus at St. Anthony offers an excellent Dual-language Pre-K Catholic education based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of the Catholic Church to the diverse population of the Cramer Hill Section of Camden, NJ.
The Community Learning Campus at St. Anthony, located in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden, NJ, was opened in September of 1962 as St. Anthony of Padua School. The school was initially staffed by the Sisters of St. Francis Third Order (known today as the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities), from Syracuse, NY. The sisters staffed the school until 1998 when Sister Mary Celestine, OSF was the last principal from the community. In 1985, the Franciscan Friars from the Holy Name Province, NY began their ministry at St. Anthony of Padua School and St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Their presence at St. Anthony of Padua was the direct result of a search by the Province for parishes where they could best continue the true spirit of St. Francis in their ministry. St. Anthony was a perfect fit for the Friars. The Franciscan Spirit was evident with the involvement of the Friars at the school and through the daily lives of the students until recent changes.
As the economy and community of Camden changed over the years, St. Anthony of Padua School remained a source of strength and a beacon of hope for the children and families of Camden. In 2009, St. Anthony of Padua School became one of five schools to make up the Catholic School Partnership. The belief of the partnership is that the students who attend St. Anthony School or one of the other four schools (St. Cecelia’s, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, and Holy Name) deserve the same education that is given to the students in the suburbs and wealthy locations.
The expansion of St. Anthony of Padua school into the Community Learning Campus at St. Anthony’s in 2020 is an example of how Catholic Partnership Schools intend to improve programs that will allow us to better serve a wider CPS community of families and teachers.