The first Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) arrived on August 25, 1904. Serving mainly the poor immigrant Irish community, it's student population reached a high of 1,378 students by 1953. However, as the Catholic families moved out of Philadelphia, families of all nationalities and faiths replaced them. In 1991, the IHM Center for Literacy was opened to teach English and computer skills to the immigrant adult population. Today, St. Francis still serves the same purpose to educate those desiring a Catholic education.