The parish school was established for the 1929-1930 school year. Obviously without the school building finished yet, some accommodation had to be made. The Knights of Columbus building at 272 West Market Street was put to use. The hall of the building which is now the Teamsters Union Hall, was divided into makeshift classrooms for 220 students. Holy Humility of Mary Sister were the first teachers of the parish.
Then on November 1st, 1929, the new school building was ready to welcome its first students. Not that the building was yet finished. It would not be until Thanksgiving that the it would be dedicated and the first Mass not celebrated until four weeks after the school had taken up residence.
It is interesting to note that over the doors of the new building are the words, “Pro Deo” and “Pro Patria.” This is translated as, “For God” and “For Country.” Anti-Catholic sentiment was strong in the United States and many questioned if a Catholic could be a true and patriotic citizen while maintaining allegiance to the Pope in Rome. Of course, patriotism to legitimate authority is a strong Catholic tenant and so these words in Latin were placed on this new building to show that not only were Sebastianites Catholic, they were also true citizens of the United States.
That Thanksgiving was said to be one of the nicest weather wise in years. In the middle of once abandoned farm land stood a brand new church, school (main floor), office, convent (for twelve nuns on the top floor) and hall (in the basement) combination building of a modified Spanish architecture, decorated with red, white and blue swags, ready to begin servicing the people of the parish of St. Sebastian. It was a building “of the modern school of stone and light brick with Romanesque detail.”
The happy day did not come without its downside. Such a monumental building came with a huge price for such a young parish and it was straddled with a huge debt just as the country plunged into what is now recognized as one of the worst economic downturns in American history.