Welcome & History

We greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thank you for showing interest in our school and for taking the time to log on to our website.  We hope that you will find the content helpful and inspiring.  Our Catholic school is located in the city of Tyrone in central Pennsylvania on the Little Juniata River.

Each of us is called to make various decisions and accomplish a variety of tasks in our lives.  Perhaps, God is calling you to Saint Matthew School to change or enrich your life and especially the lives of your children in a new way.

 Saint Matthew School was established in1869 and has served our community well for over 150 years. We believe that education is without a doubt one of the greatest gifts a person can receive.  Catholic schools are a preferred option in education because they allow the acquisition of knowledge without placing limits on student achievement.  The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their pastoral message on Catholic education entitled To Teach as Jesus Did (November 1972) affirmed that an integration of religious truth and values in life “distinguishes the Catholic school from other schools.  This is a matter of crucial importance today in view of contemporary trends and pressures to compartmentalize life and learning and to isolate the religious dimension of existence from other areas of human life.”

Saint Matthew Catholic School can truly be called a family because it is built upon relationships.  Many elements come together to sustain the academic purpose, financial stability, and faith mission of the school.  We provide a safe and positive learning environment for our students.  We focus on academic excellence while teaching students the values and beliefs of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Our school is vibrant and viable because of the shared vision and commitment demonstrated by our school families, our school alumni and friends, our administration, faculty and staff, and the Saint Matthew Parish.  That spirit of cooperation and shared responsibility is the firm foundation upon which Saint Matthew Catholic School is built and envisions itself to serve in the future.

From the very beginning, Saint Matthew Parish has gone above and beyond to help the school and its mission to educate.  Parents and guardians also have an important and irreplaceable mission and responsibility in this endeavor for they are, as the Baptismal Instruction states, “the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith.” 

As with any institution, if it wants to grow and make a difference it needs to be faithful to its mission and constantly evaluate the fruits of its endeavors.  Parents and guardians give powerful example by consistent and active participation in Sunday worship and by conforming their way of life to the teaching and example of Jesus Christ.  Saint Matthew Catholic School seeks to help parents and guardians nurture the seeds of faith God plants in their children.  Families are also called upon to sustain the mission of the school by the sharing of time, talent and treasure with the school and community at large.  It is required and absolutely essential that parents, guardians, and families recognize and fulfill these obligations. In conclusion, as a school we believe that we have God working in our midst and as an active family of Christians we want to continue the mission that is none other than that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who said: ”Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”(Luke 18: 16).  Please support and pray for our school, especially the teachers, staff and volunteers.  Let us continue to believe in the mission of Saint Matthew School and contribute as much as we can to the positive Christian environment by treating all with utmost love and respect, always following Jesus’ example of humble service, and united continue our journey to God’s Kingdom.


Saint Matthew Church was founded in 1853.  Reverend John Farren secured a building at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue and established Saint Matthew Catholic School in 1869.  The building contained one room, 15’ x 35’, and featured a pot-belly iron stove which the students stoked with coal.  The only nearby structures were cow stables and pig sties. 

One teacher had sole charge of the school.  Some early teachers were from Sinking Valley and Altoona.  Several years later, the new Mercy Motherhouse in Loretto assigned six nuns to oversee Saint Matthew School.  The arrival of the nuns was an exciting event for the community; none of the students had seen a nun prior to this time.

In 1875, the Elliot Building (site of the current Citizen’s Fire Company) began functioning as the school and convent.  The building was poorly heated, and during cold weather, students and teachers wore coats, hats and gloves during class.  The following year, the school and convent were moved to the Mathias Home on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 11th Street.  The first floor housed living quarters for the sisters, a community room, chapel, and music hall; the second floor had two classrooms, a drawing room, and a guest bedroom.  The third floor had only one classroom, which was used for most of the boys.  Older boys were taught in the “wash house” behind the building.

The current Cameron Avenue property was purchased in 1881, and by 1886 a new four-room school and separate convent were ready for occupancy.  The second floor of the school was used as a temporary church and school hall.  Eventually it was converted into additional classrooms.  From 1919 to 1925, those rooms were used as a high school where academic and commercial courses were taught.Over the years, Saint Matthew School has gone through many changes and transitions that were no doubt challenging but with God’s help made our school stronger.  Those who have held various positions at Saint Matthew School: pastors, principals, faculty and staff have utilized their God given talents to enrich the school experience.  For over 150 years, Saint Matthew Catholic School has been an excellent source of academic as well as spiritual formation for the children of the Tyrone community.  The lessons learned have touched many lives in numerous ways for which we are extremely thankful.