Our Story

About Our School
st augustine about us

The first school in the Hamilton Diocese, St. Augustine, opened in Dundas in 1857 with 105 children.

In 1869 a new frame school on Alma Street was erected and the original school on Sydenham Street became St. Augustine's Church Rectory, as it is to this day.

The frame school was partly destroyed by fire in 1902 and was replaced by a brick structure. In 1931 the present red brick-building was built, largely through the efforts and financial backing of the Pastor, the late Monsignor Gehl, and the School Board Chairman at that time, the late James Grightmire.

Two rooms were added to the school in 1950 and four more in 1952. In 1960 St. Augustine's was further enlarged by the addition of six classrooms, gymnasium, principal's office and teacher's dining rooms.

From the beginning, the Sisters of St. Joseph and many dedicated lay teachers have laboured in this vineyard of education. The Principal at the time this article was written (1969), Sister Francis, says that no account of St. Augustine's, however sketchy, would be complete without a mention of Sister Marcella (Hogan) who was principal from 1944 until her death in 1963. She was an outstanding teacher loved and respected by students and parents alike and particularly remembered as a wise and kindly counsellor to children in difficulties.


St. Augustine
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Feastday: August 28
Patron of brewers
Died: 430

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"

Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.

He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th.


Prayer to St. Augustine Our Patron Saint

St. Augustine, our patron saint, you were converted from a sinful life through grace, to love God with all your heart. Teach us to turn away from our own selfish wants and desires. Help us to turn our hearts towards God and live each day to serve others. Show us the way to be kind, loving and compassionate to all persons in need of our help.

Lord, fill our hearts with the seed of your word. Help it to grow in us. Through the intercession of St. Augustine, teach us to receive your word with respect and follow your commandments with love. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.