St Thomas’ Catholic School commenced in 1928 when the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart from Mount Street, North Sydney were invited by the newly appointed priest, Father R. Darby, to staff a new school in Horsley Avenue, Willoughby.
The first Principal was Sr Laurencia Crump RSJ. At that time, the hall building was used as both a school and a church. However, as numbers grew, plans were put in motion in 1941 to build a dedicated school to provide more classrooms.
The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (founded by Mary MacKillop) were a vital presence in the school until 1979 when it became part of the Diocesan system of education. Over a period, the Sisters were replaced with lay leadership and teaching staff.
Blessed Mary MacKillop was convinced that the purpose of education is integral to the development of the person as an individual and as a member of the community; and this requires wisdom, patience, and charity on the part of every teacher. Her vision of educating and helping to think well, feel well (the language of the heart), and to do good (the language of the hands) is still just as relevant today.
The charism of the Sisters of St Joseph (Josephites) of the Sacred Heart centred around doing all the good that you could. This continues today and is embedded in the school’s lived values of: Justice, Hope, Collaboration, Compassion, Citizenship and Stewardship.