Meet the Malave Family

Dear Friends, 

Did you know that Saint Peter the Apostle School (SPAS) is celebrating its 175th Anniversary? Over the past 175 years, there have been many families with strong, meaningful connections to SPAS and who have made a positive impact on our school community. In that vein, please Meet the Malave Family…Nelson, Jannine, Isabella and Francisco. 

The Malave’s have historical ties to Saint Peter the Apostle School and the church. Nelson is a SPAS alumnus, a volunteer (you will see him most mornings assisting with school drop off on Lawrence Street) and currently serves as the Director of Religious Education for the CCD/PREP program. Jannine is a life-long parishioner and currently holds the position of Executive Assistant to the Pastor, Father Michael Cunningham,C.Ss.R. Isabella is the newly elected SPAS 6th grade student council representative and Francisco is a fun, energetic 3rd grader. 

Nelson credits the teachers and staff at Saint Peter the Apostle School with building his character, morals, integrity, ethical behaviors and values during his formative years. He remembers making honors for the first time because of the efforts of his 7th grade teacher who was tough and stern yet also fair and equitable, a model he often reflects on while navigating through adulthood. He fondly remembers his dedication to volunteering beginning with agreeing to be the school mascot, Brownie the Bear. But more importantly, Nelson holds dear his memories of being prepared to make his sacraments at Saint Peter the Apostle, a tradition he is thrilled to share with his children.

Jannine’s childhood years were spent attending Sunday Mass and novenas to Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Wednesday evenings. Her parents immigrated to Philadelphia from the Philippines in the late 1960s and found Saint Peter’s to be a place where they were welcomed to continue their religious traditions. This made for many fond memories as Jannine spent countless hours with family members and friends participating as altar servers, enjoying fellowship over food and attending events after church services. 

Jannine and Nelson’s love story began one Sunday after bumping into each other at church so it’s not surprising that they were married at Saint Peter the Apostle and continue to attend Sunday Mass with Isabella and Francisco. 

Both Nelson and Jannine appreciate the diversity of Philadelphia and the Northern Liberties neighborhood and openly embrace all other cultures and traditions. Hence why selecting SPAS for Isabella and Francisco was a very easy decision. They wanted to ensure their children received a quality, Catholic education, to be exposed to a diverse community of students and to be in a safe and loving environment. So far, they have been thrilled with the decision to send Isabella and Francisco to SPAS as they whole-heartedly believe that the faculty and staff provide genuine love and concern for all students. 

Isabella and Francisco are enamored with their SPAS education. 

Isabella credits SPAS with being a fun, loving environment where she can learn happily and safely. She is a leader as evident by her recent election to student council, actively participates in the choir, takes music lessons and performs in the school plays. Her favorite memory was her duet with Father Bennett of “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera. She remembers being overcome with emotion and looks forward to continuing to participate in SPAS extracurricular activities. 

Francisco describes SPAS as a school that is challenging but fun and feels like family. His favorite memory was receiving his first reconciliation because that is when God forgave all of his sins. 

Over the past two years, the Malave’s have seen many enhancements to the school through the leadership of Principal, Sister Danielle Truex, IHM. Sister Danielle has not only worked tirelessly to make improvements to the brick and mortar, she has been able to bring technology, STEM curriculum, a robust music program, American Sign Language and Physical Education (to name a few) to the school. In addition to the physical enhancements of the building, the curriculum and extracurricular activities, Sister has also increased enrollment by almost 20 percent over the last two years with current enrollment just over 190 students. To see the building bustling with young people is reassurance that SPAS is on its way to continuing to thrive for another 175 years. 

The Malave’s hope that the school will continue to educate generations of families from Northern Liberties and the surrounding communities and ask that you join them as active participants in the mission of Saint Peter the Apostle School. 

Please consider a gift of any size to ensure that Sister Danielle and the faculty and staff can continue to offer a quality, Catholic education to the much deserving students at Saint Peter the Apostle School. 

We are deeply grateful for your continued support. Please know that you are in our daily prayers. 


The Malave Family, Sister Danielle Truex, IHM and the Faculty and Staff of Saint Peter the Apostle School