Michael Chesser

Celebrating 135 Years of Catholic Education at St Aloysius College

Last week, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne celebrates, Catholic Education Week. Held to promote the ethos of Catholic primary and secondary schools across Melbourne, this event highlights the inspiring activities that take place in Catholic schools every day.

The governance from the archdiocese for Saint Aloysius College, began 135 years ago, when in 1887 the first building was blessed and opened by Archbishop Thomas Carr, the second Archbishop of Melbourne. At that time, this was at the first Convent of Mercy in Hotham (as North Melbourne was then known), established in a terrace house on Flemington Road, opposite the Children’s Hospital. In response to parents’ request to provide a “Day School for Young Ladies” the Sisters of Mercy started to teach there to a few students of the local area.

In 1890 the sisters moved to the present site providing primary and secondary co-education and in the early 1920s a very forward thinking Principal, Sister Gonzaga, changed the school’s name to her own patron saint and adopted our school motto ‘Ad Altiora’– strive for higher things.

Then in the early 1920s In 1926, Pope Pius XI declared St Aloysius Gonzaga to be the patron saint of all Catholic youth – a more appropriate name a school could never have.

From its very beginning, the Sisters of Mercy shared their knowledge and passion of the Catholic Faith to their students and based their teachings on the traditions and values of the Catholic Faith.

Today, St Aloysius College, North Melbourne is proud of our faith connections and legacy, continuing in the teachings of Jesus Christ, sustained by the Catholic Church and inspired by the vision of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.

As part of our Celebrations of 135 Years of education as a Catholic School at St Aloysius College, this week we place a greater emphasis on our connections to the Catholic Faith. Being part of the Catholic Education system is more than just teaching the traditions of the Church, it is also about instilling our values and beliefs. That in all aspects of the college, we are teaching our students, and sharing with our members, how to be participants of the community in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley and Jesus Christ our Lord.