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School History

School History

The existence and growth of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School over the years is a tribute to the vision, sacrifices and commitment of the Catholic people of Hamilton-Wentworth. Today St. Mary Catholic Secondary School proudly stands as a community wherein all who come can Grow in Grace and Wisdom.

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School came into being in 1970, upon the closure of Loretto Academy on King Street West. St. Mary Catholic Secondary School was established in the former elementary school of Christ the King.

Under Father Fergus Duffy, the first Principal, the school community quickly outgrew its temporary home, and in 1980 moved to the site of the former Hamilton Teacher's College, near the McMaster University Campus. The newer facility was blessed by Bishop Paul Reding and housed 500 students and 25 staff. The increasing demands for Catholic Education resulted in the school population reaching over 1000 students and the growth of a portable classroom city.

Because of the overcrowding, and with increased funding from the province, the Separate School Board was able to make plans for a new school in 1992.

The new site was blessed by Bishop Anthony Tonnos and the new St. Mary Catholic Secondary School became a reality. After a journey of over three decades, St. Mary Catholic Secondary School is now located in a magnificent building, on a beautifully landscaped lot, at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Rifle Range Road in West Hamilton.

Mary, our Mother: Help us to Grow in Wisdom and Grace.

From the earliest days of the Church, Mary has been honoured as the greatest of all saints. She is both the patron saint of our school and the diocese of Hamilton.

Mary was perhaps 14 years old when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. She had no idea what God was asking of her. All she knew was that God was asking something special.

Although she was greatly troubled, Mary may have felt like responding as we do in class when our teacher calls upon us for an answer: Oh, please don't call on me! I'm not prepared.

God often calls people to take on awesome responsibilities, perform tasks they hadn't anticipated and wouldn't have chosen to do in a million years! Mary exemplifies how God can take the least prepared and make them strong through grace.

Jesus and Mary cannot and must not be separated. Together, they were from all eternity in God's plan for the redemption of humanity. The infant Jesus without Mary is a king without a throne, and Mary without the child is a queen without a crown. The Holy Spirit fashions from her a body for the saviour of the world, and that body prefigures the Mystical Body which is the Church.

As a teenager and young mother, Mary experienced many of the same struggles and challenges we face everyday. She had hopes and fears, joys and sorrows for herself and her family. Faithfully, Mary abandoned herself to God in prayer. She entrusted her own needs and those of her loved ones to her heavenly Father: Although her language was different, Mary's message was similar to our deepest yearnings: Lord, I have a special need and I turn this over to You, not my will, but Your will be done. St. Mary, pray for us.