In 1950, on five beautiful acres of forestland in the heart of Haney, Father Steele began the challenging task of building St. Patrick’s School. The school was opened in September of 1956 with a co-educational enrollment of 128 students encompassing grades one to eight. The Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Ontario were the first teachers. Sisters Winnifred, Appolonia and Wendelin aided Sister Eugene the first principal. Initially, only five rooms on the lower floor were available for the students’ use, as the upstairs consisted of Father’s living quarters, a confessional and a large hall where mass was said. The students then were a very hardy lot and took their gym out of doors year round.
Much has changed at St. Patrick’s over the last 56 years. Kindergarten classes were introduced in 1970. To accommodate a growing enrollment, portable classrooms and the St. Patrick’s Centre (gym) were later built. The last sister, Sister Sharon McNally left in June of 1985. The convent was changed into a school annex to include a larger library, a video room and two meeting rooms. Our current enrollment in grades kindergarten through seven is 252 students serviced by an excellent staff of 28 members.
St. Patrick’s School is a Catholic community called by God to share in the mission of the church. With Christ as our center, the parish, teachers and parents work closely together in love and prayer to create a joyous and challenging place of learning. Each child will be encouraged to grow intellectually, physically, socially, aesthetically and above all, spiritually. By preparing our students to be responsible and active members of the Church, we are building God’s kingdom.
Christian education and teachings within a Catholic School are intended to supplement and deepen a faith already valued, lived and practiced in the home. Through the light of further instruction, the educators in the Catholic School strive to help the children become more conscious of the doctrines, traditions, and call to a living and active faith which is theirs as Catholics and/or Christians.
All people are called to salvation and to the Kingdom which Jesus promised when He walked the roads of Galilee. As Christians we are called to spread and share the kingdom. For this to occur, our faith and our life must co-exist in our daily situations. Our faith must be part of our daily lives.
An attitude of life is unavoidable in any educational institution because it comes into every decision that is made. The school’s concept of life is related to its view of reality and that reality in the Catholic School is Christ-centered. Our school and schools similar to ours in nature strive to keep faith and Jesus as part of our daily lives, not merely a “subject to be learned”. Our schools were established and continue to promote the formation of the whole person-spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. The child must be enabled to think and choose freely based on sound Gospel values.
This development is the task of Parents, parish priests, teachers, students, parish and school communities. There may be times that the results are less than we would like them to be, but then we must place our trust in the Lord, whose strength, we are told, often shines forth in our own weakness.