Diocese Holds St. Francis Property
The old St. Francis upper school in downtown Billings may soon be sold to help pay for the new Catholic school on Colton Boulevard. Billings Catholic Schools president Shaun Harrington says the Diocese of Great Falls Billings now has clear title to the property on North 32nd Street near Third Avenue North.
Benefactor Kate Fratt donated the building that opened for classes back in 1918. Fratt explicitly donated the building for use as a parochial school, but if its use changed, her heirs could take the building back. As many as 450 family members chose not to pursue ownership, and the last one reached a confidential mediation settlement last Friday.
The bankruptcy court will have to approve the sale of the property. The Diocese declared bankruptcy after dozens of survivors of sexual abuse from a half century ago sued.