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School History And Tradition

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School began as a two-room annex to St. Clare School in 1921. It grew to eight classrooms and 400 pupils in the present building in 1945, with leadership provided by the Loretto Sisters. Immigration in the 1950s and 60s caused unprecedented growth which brought the school population to 1880 students in 1964. Additions were made to the school in 1954 and 1960, culminating in the present school of 27 classrooms.

Our school is named after St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest teachers of the Catholic church. He was born in 1225 in Italy, in the town of Aquino, and as a boy he attended school at the great monastery of Monte Casino nearby. When Thomas decided, as a young man, to become a Dominican monk, his powerful family, angry that he was rejecting their lifestyle for a life of poverty, took him back by force with a troop of soldiers, and kept him at home for two years. Thomas used this time to study scripture and philosophy on his own. When his family finally let him become a monk he studied in Germany and France, and became a very learned and respected professor with the title of “Doctor of theology”. Thomas Aquinas was consulted by popes, kings, scholars and students from many countries in Europe until his death in 1274. His great theological work, “Summa Theologica” was an important source of religious thought for many centuries, and is still highly respected today. St. Thomas Aquinas School tries to honour this great saint in its Catholic teaching and in all school activities.