Cincinnati, OH

The Hollywood connection to the St. Francis Seminary School in Cincinnati

Anita Durairaj
Hollywood signPhoto by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

Having lived in Cincinnati for several years, the most surprising thing is that you can always find strange and interesting facts about the city. One interesting Cincinnati tidbit is that Tom Cruise used to live here as a young boy and that he actually went to school in Cincinnati.

Tom Cruise attended the St. Francis Seminary School in Mount Healthy.

The seminary is now permanently closed but it used to be a Roman Catholic school for boys. It was a residential Franciscan high school in the late 1970s.

At the time, Tom Cruise used to be known by his family name of Mapother. Cruise used to live in Louisville, Kentucky but when Father Ric Schneider gave a talk at the St. Raphael the Archangel School in Louisville about the St. Francis Seminary, Cruise became interested in attending the Cincinnati school.

Cruise attended the St. Francis Seminary School in the fall of 1976 with 67 other freshmen boys. Cruise was only 14 years old at the time. Cruise's old classmates and teachers remember him as a friendly kid with average smarts who could be cocky just like his character in the movie, Top Gun.

Tom Cruise did not end up staying long at the seminary. The St. Francis Seminary was a strict school where students had to learn Latin, Greek, and German. Cruise joined the drama club at the seminary where he memorized entire plays and competed in drama competitions. Eventually, he decided to return back to Louisville in 1977.

Cruise's former teachers stated that Cruise left the seminary because his family was relocating to New Jersey but Cruise's classmate remembers a different incident.

In the particular incident as retold by Cruise's classmate, he and Cruise decided to steal liquor from the Franciscan priests. When the priests found out about the incident, they wrote a letter to Cruise's parents stating that it would be preferred if Cruise did not return to the school. Thus, Cruise was never officially kicked out of the school, he was just encouraged not to return.

Today, the former St. Francis Seminary is now a historic building. In 1999, it became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now it is reported to be a Franciscan retirement community called Mercy Franciscan at Winton Woods.

If you live in Cincinnati, do check out this historic seminary building.

Sources: Irish Examiner, Newsweek, Churchpop

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