ABOUT ST. CATHERINE-ST. LUCY SCHOOL
It is our privilege and pleasure to share St. Catherine's story with you. There are few things more important than selecting an academic institution for your child and St. Catherine's has remained a constant in the Oak Park and Austin neighborhoods for 132 years. Generations of families continue to choose St. Catherine's -
Parents often talk about the impact that St. Catherine - St. Lucy School has had on their children and say "preparing our students to be ready for the world spiritually, mentally, and academically are primary to the foundation of a St. Catherine's education." We couldn't agree more!
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire"
St. Catherine of Siena
The mission of St. Catherine - St. Lucy School is to provide quality Christian Education within a Catholic context for parish students and students from the surrounding area. It is our task, as a community of faculty, students, parents and guardians (who are the primary caretakers and educators of their children) and parish staff to work together in building a strong educational and Christian environment.
Our school bases its educational program on the central message of Jesus in the Gospel: love of God, self and each other. In doing this, we provide our students with the necessary understanding to live in a multicultural world where peace, justice and equality are hopes for the future.
Our educational program reflects our commitment to the spiritual, intellectual, social and psychological needs of the students. We strive to provide a strong education in basic skills and to teach values that students will need in coping with the future. Because students are faced with a future of constant change, we must ensure that our educational program keeps pace with life as it exists, and provide the resources for our students to grow and prosper in an environment where the world community is struggling to find the true meaning of Christianity.
Success in these endeavors will be measured by the care and concern our students show others and by their ability to meet the challenge of the future.
The roots of the school go back to the summer of 1885, six years after the founding of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, when the Sisters of Mercy from St. Patrick's Academy purchased the "Woodbury Home" on the northwest corner of Central Avenue near Washington Boulevard; and, that following summer opened St. Catherine's Academy, the first Catholic grammar school in Austin, to serve families of a growing parish. Mother Joseph was in charge of this grammar school where by 1912, advanced branches of learning were taught to Catholic children from nine Austin and Oak Park parishes. In the same year the Sisters acquired the title to the entire frontage along Washington from Central to Parkside. This would be the site of the future Sienna High School, dedicated on Columbus Day, 1925.
In 1906, Archbishop James E. Quigley directed that a new combination church and school building be constructed at the corner of Lake and Mayfield Streets to serve the flourishing St. Catherine of Siena Parish. For several years following, the parish had two places of worship; at Washington and Parkside, and on Lake near Mayfield. At this point, a grammar school was organized by the Sisters of Mercy at the new location to serve the parish children.
In 1915, property was purchased on the southeast corner of Washington and Humphrey in Oak Park. The new two story church / school was dedicated on October 28, 1917. Services were held on the lower floor, and classes attended on the upper. In 1934, the construction of the present church building on Washington and Austin began. Also, a third floor was added to the school to accommodate classrooms with an attic gymnasium above. The first floor remained an assembly hall until 1958, when it was converted to primary classrooms. In 1959 the School Annex, now known as Maguire Hall was built as a combination gymnasium and assembly hall for students.
In 1974, when the St. Lucy and St. Catherine parishes merged, a new school was born; St. Catherine of Siena - St. Lucy School. Today we serve children ranging in age from early childhood to eighth grade with an enrollment of over 250 students. We have evolved and grown over the years into an academic and religious institution that is the pride of our community and an example to the Archdiocese.