We have been delivering Catholic education in the Hawkesbury for over 160 years!

Named for St Monica, the patron saint of mothers and womanhood, our school was established in 1859.

In 1848 Reverend J.J. Therry, from Windsor, suggested to Archbishop Polding that a church and school be erected. On January 3, 1859 Archbishop Polding laid the foundation stone of the church and what was to lead to the foundation of St Monica's School. The church was used as a school during this period but no records of the teachers, nor the children have been found.

We have been delivering Catholic education in the Hawkesbury for over 160 years!

We have been delivering Catholic education in the Hawkesbury for over 160 years!
St Monica | Our patron saint

The Good Samaritans

In 1863 a Catholic teacher, Mrs Doyle, was appointed by the State Government to take over the responsibility of educating the children. Mrs Doyle had the help of Marie Purcell until both were transferred in 1873 and the Good Samaritans, from Windsor, were asked to take over the teaching role.

By 1877 Richmond Parish had grown to quite a considerable number so Reverend P. Cassidy was appointed as Richmond's first Parish Priest but was succeeded by Dean D.M. O'Connell in 1878 who immediately built a Convent and school. The Convent was a one-storey, four roomed cottage.

An additional weatherboard school was built adjoining the Convent. It was divided by folding doors into primary and secondary school, with 65 primary and 20 high school students. Included above the high school portion was a dormitory for boarders, who, believe it or not, came from Sydney mostly, to the country for their schooling!

The Good Samaritans

The Good Samaritans
Date unknown - an early photo of the children and nuns

The Poor Clare Nuns

After a few upgrades and add-ons a boys boarding school was opened in 1900 with Father O'Brien and Mother Clancy as the religious personnel. From then on the school progressed and was officially blessed on March 22, 1921 as St Monica's School by the Archbishop of Sydney. The Good Samaritans handed over the school to the Poor Clare Nuns in 1943.

As the years went by the school was growing larger and the buildings were getting older and weaker - a new building was required. In 1960 Father O'Rourke arranged that a building be erected against the Bourke Street fence between the Church and the Presbytery. This building consisted of three classrooms and two storerooms. It was blessed and opened by the Most Reverend James Carrol on April 24, 1960.

The Poor Clare Nuns

The Poor Clare Nuns
1950 - The Poor Clare Nuns. Back row: Sister M. Imelda, Sister M. Francis, Sister M. Magdalen, Sister M. Carmel and Sister M. Angela and Front row: Sister Margaret Mary, Mother Xavier, Mother Veronica and Sister M. Brigid.

Changing times - the 1970s

In 1971 Mr O'Donohue was appointed as the first lay Principal of St Monica's. In 1973 some of the biggest changes in the school's appearance were made as a brand new administration building and toilets were erected behind the Presbytery and a 5-roomed classroom block was built behind the Convent. Four of those rooms were used as classrooms whilst the fifth was a library.

In 1976 Mr Ian Jordan, was appointed principal of St Monica's and more building programs were started.

Changing times - the 1970s

Changing times - the 1970s
1979 - Extensions to the Infants block (Stage 1)

Two streams - the 1980s

The two stream system was introduced in 1983 with the addition of another demountable. This was the year that the new church was opened.

Over the years our school has continued to evolve, a testament to our school’s commitment to staying relevant and offering the very best environment for learning. We continue to offer the latest technological tools and resources to enhance learning.

Our dedication to our students and their learning remains the constant that drives our school forward into a future we are all excited for.

Two streams - the 1980s

Two streams - the 1980s
1980 - Christine Blundell painting a mural facing the Infants playground

More moments from our past...

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Date unknown - Sisters at St Monica's with their first car, which is believed to be an EH Holden.

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St Monica's float which was part of the parade from Windsor to Richmond to celebrate the Bi-Centenary of Captain Cook in 1970.

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1970 - The Women of the West - Caroline Chisholm, this float from St Monica's won the historical section of the bicentennial parade.

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1979 - Extensions to the Infants Block (Stage 2)

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1979 - Extensions to the Infants Block (Stage 3).

Do you have an old photo of St Monica's? We'd love to see them!

Feel free to send photos to our office, with your name and address clearly marked. We will scan your photo and return it you. Don't forget to include a caption!

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