SMS History

  • The parish was founded in June, 1962 to meet the growing needs of families in the Township of Franklin.  On March 1, 1963 groundbreaking for the construction of a 16 classroom school and a "temporary" church which was to serve as the school's auditorium/gymnasium when a "permanent" church would be constructed.  Just two years and two months later on September 8, 1965, Saint Matthias School opened its doors to 350 students in grades one through four with the intent of adding another grade each year.  By 1969 the school housed all eight grades.  Sister Mary Janice, R.S.M. was the first Principal of Saint Matthias School and the faculty consisted of four Sisters of Mercy, four lay teachers, assisted by a secretary and a custodian.  A Home School Association was organized to assist in facilitating the school's needs and to provide financial support through fundraising projects.


    As the Somerset section of Franklin Township, a suburban community, increased in population so did the number of families in the parish and the number of children in Saint Matthias School.  The student body, like the parish and surrounding community is socially, economically and ethnically diverse.  Since 1962 the Saint Matthias Community has grown from 800 families to almost 3,300 families in 2018.  Today there are 420 children learning in an atmosphere of Faith, Caring and Excellence at Saint Matthias School.


    It was the dream of many in the parish to establish a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten program.  In May 1995 there was a groundbreaking for a new addition housing four classrooms, a parish meeting room, and space for the largest library/media center in the diocese.  In September 1996, the addition was ready for occupancy.  The building was successfully completed without a major fundraising campaign.


    In 2001, Saint Matthias was the only Catholic Elementary School in New Jersey to be named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, the highest honor a school can receive from the US Department of Education.  This recognition means that Saint Matthias is not only an excellent Catholic School, but also one of the most exceptional elementary schools in the United States.


    Saint Matthias School is blessed with a dedicated faculty that appreciates the richness of a culturally diverse student body.  Each member of the school family from administration to parent volunteers is fully aware that theirs is a ministry of loving service, and they joyfully share in the teaching mission of Jesus and His Church.  The larger Catholic Community of Saint Matthias is enriched and enlivened by its children learning to become disciples and citizens in today’s world.