Our Story

School History
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St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario is one of the largest high schools in the region with over 1990 students. Over the past 45 years, our school has experienced continuous growth and an unwavering focus on excellence. Our original campus opened in September 1972 as St. Thomas More Comprehensive School on East 5th Street with an enrolment of 800 students. Today's expansive facility on Upper Paradise Road is 25 years old, and is well furnished with modern equipment, state-of-the-art technology, and a 16-classroom addition completed in 2014.

St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School has a reputation for academic excellence, a tradition of athletic achievement, and a student body well known for its charitable works and social conscience.stm school pic 2

The academic program is comprehensive, with over 120 accredited teachers assisted by over 40 support staff delivering a full range of academic and applied courses, as well as university, college and workplace bound courses. Committed to the philosophy that “each belongs”, we are an inclusive school where all students, from the developmentally delayed to the gifted, are integrated into regular classroom programs. We graduate approximately 450 students per year, with about 70% proceeding to university or college.

Our employment bound students are well prepared for the workplace through our extensive Co-operative Education experiential programs. These include a number of Ontario Youth Apprenticeship programs and a wide range of Specialist High Skills Major programs such as Arts and Culture, Business, Construction, Fitness, Health and Wellness, Health Care, Non-Profit and Community Development and Transportation. All of these programs are excellent opportunities for students to acquire trade-specific skills as they learn from expert S.T.M. teachers as well as skilled professionals at training centers and in the workplace. A number of new courses and programs are now offered at S.T.M. including Indigenous Studies, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies , Percussion, and a sport-specific Physical Education and Health course.

St. Thomas More C.S.S. is a vibrant school community that offers well-rounded extra-curricular and co-instructional programs. We have a long athletic tradition, excelling in football, basketball, soccer, hockey, swimming, track and field, field hockey, volleyball and baseball. Again our facilities are advantageous, with a state-of-the-art spring-floor triple gym, Hamilton schools’ first artificial turf field with lights, a 700-seat grandstand and professional grade press box, a practice field, an all-weather track and a complete fitness room. Our teams are coached by qualified and experienced teacher-coaches. Our co-instructional program offers over 90 teams, clubs, groups, councils and committees to suit a vast variety of student interests.

As a Catholic school, we are committed to a Christ-centered education. Through our chaplaincy leaders, we celebrate Morning Prayer, school-wide liturgies, class Masses and weekly Prayer groups in our beautiful chapel. The opportunity for receiving the sacrament of reconciliation is provided at various times throughout the year, and our entire school community celebrates the Mass regularly, as our gymnasium is transformed into a place of worship. Guided by the words of our patron saint, St. Thomas More, we strive to be "The King's good servant but God's first" in all aspects of school life. And so, though Christian service activities may be too numerous and wide-ranging to be listed, all such efforts are focused on promoting equality, justice, peace and compassion in our school, community and in the world in which we live. Most importantly, as a Catholic community, our daily relationships reflect our belief that we must live our faith and reflect God's love.

Christian service initiatives are numerous and wide-ranging with a focus on promoting equality, justice, peace and compassion in our school, community and beyond. Our efforts include our We Scare Hunger Campaign (YMCA Peace Medal Award 2009) which this past year raised over 82,000 lbs of food and almost $10, 000 in cash donations in one evening for our local Neighbour-to-Neighbour food bank. Other service work includes our yearly Christmas Miracle Campaign which provides gifts and food vouchers to 300 children and their families, our Free Trade farming support in the Dominican Republic, and our ongoing commitment to Free the Children projects in Kenya in memory of S.T.M. student Maddison Babineau who passed away in 2007.

St. Thomas More C.S.S. is a school of excellence. Above all, it is a school where humanity and Catholicity are paramount. Our black and gold colours, our knights and our motto "Praestantia Scholastica, Praestantia Athletica, Praestantia Religiosa" give us a sense of tradition and purpose. The good work and commitment in our daily lives carry this tradition into the future.

St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School on Hamilton Mountain celebrating 50 years


Our Mission

The mission of Catholic Education in Hamilton-Wentworth, in union with our Bishop, is to enable all learners to realize the fullness of humanity of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the model.

The Catholic Community of Hamilton-Wentworth believes the learner will realize this fullness of humanity

if the learning process

- begins at home and is part of family life
- is nurtured within the Parish
- is anchored in the Catholic Faith
- takes place within the context of worship, sacraments, and the life of the Church
- is enhanced by the school community
- is embraced by the learner as a personal responsibility for life

if learning takes place in an appropriate and challenging environment in which members of the school community exemplify the teachings of Jesus Christ which reflects Gospel values and responsible use of human, financial and natural resources which promotes academic excellence and clear indicators of achievement.


Our Vision
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Learners from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Schools will demonstrate

- knowledge and practice of their Catholic faith model
- the capability of nurturing a strong family unit
- esteem, respect and responsibility for self and others
- academic competence
- the ability to listen accurately and express knowledge clearly
- independence, critical thinking and effective problem solving
- proficiency with technology in order to adapt to a changing world
- the values, attitudes and skills for effective partnerships
- the ability to transform our society

To enable learners to achieve this vision, the faith community of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will reflect

- the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives
- the teachings of the Catholic Church
- exemplary role models
- social justice, respect and fairness for all
- a dedicated staff
- a curriculum that is dynamic, practical and relevant
- high standards
- an environment conducive to learning
- effective partnerships
- accountability at all levels


Saint Thomas More
Saint Thomas More

Thomas More was born on February 7, 1478 in London, England about the time that printed books were beginning to replace handwritten manuscripts.

He began school at age 7, receiving a classical education, studying Latin (the spoken and written language of the educated), music and public speaking with a little English and mathematics. (Studies began at 6:00 a.m.)

At age 12, instead of moving to Eton, a middle school, he became a page, such as we have in our House of Commons in Ottawa, serving the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England, learning the customs of the influential.  At age 14, the usual age, he entered Oxford University on scholarship.

At age 16, he began his seven-year study of law. As there were few books, students attended court each day and were required to remember the rulings of judges. Mock trials where students played assigned roles and re-tried the cases of the day occurred each afternoon.

Throughout his life, Thomas More attended Mass and prayed each day.

More married at age 26. He and his wife had four children, three daughters and a son. (His wife died in childbirth at age 22). Thomas was a major proponent of education for women; his eldest daughter, Margaret became one of the most learned women in England at this time.

He was a successful and well-respected lawyer representing many London merchants.

In 1509, at age 31, he became a member of Parliament for the section of London known as Westminster.

His work impressed the King who began to use More as a diplomat - to negotiate treaties with other nations, and asked him to serve as a judge to settle property disputes.

Thomas had a good sense of humour, was able to make witty replies, although his comments were often made in an apparently serious tone that made it difficult for some to tell “whether he spoke in earnest or in jest”.

More was also a scholar, an influential writer who had numerous articles and books published; his most famous book is Utopia, a book about “no-place”, a mythical island nation striving to create a virtuous society, an ideal republic. Why did Thomas More write Utopia? To incite discussion. To stimulate debate. What would a society truly based on Christian principles be like? How should a Christian government act? How Christ-like are our customs? Utopia is no longer on the “best seller” list, but the debate that Thomas More started is just as important today as it was five centuries ago. Twenty-first century media makes us increasingly aware of what is happening in the world, and in our own country. What should be happening? What should we be doing to make it happen? Perhaps we have a greater responsibility than most to be asking and answering the same questions that our patron saint, St. Thomas More raised those many years ago.

In 1517, at age 39, he became a royal counsellor to King Henry VIII, entering public service full-time, giving up the private practice of law. More was a major critic of Martin Luther and an opponent of the Protestant Reformation that Luther began; he helped Henry with his reply to Luther that earned for the King from the Pope the title “Defender of Faith”. More’s own publication, “Response to Luther” was read throughout Europe.

In 1523, at age 45, he was elected Speaker of the Parliament, and knighted for his service to the King.

More was a charitable man: feeding the poor, up to a hundred a day during one food shortage, refusing to layoff farm workers at his country house even when they were no longer required, establishing a home for the destitute.

In 1529, at age 51, he was chosen by the King to be Lord Chancellor, a position comparable to Prime Minister. He was regarded as “an upright and learned man”, ”the greatest administrator of his generation”. Despite his powerful position he was modest and unpretentious, with little regard for fashion.

While Protestant Reformers believed in prayer, personal interpretation of the Bible, and salvation through faith in God, Thomas More as a Catholic believed in good works, the teaching of the Church, and the sacraments. He believed strongly in the authority of the Pope, as did King Henry in his early years.

In 1532, at age 54, at the height of his power, More resigned as Lord Chancellor, on a matter of conscience, to be “in the service of God”.

The new Lord Chancellor got Parliament to pass King Henry’s Act of Succession. This legislation annulled the King’s marriage to his queen of eighteen years, Catherine of Aragon, established his new wife, Anne Boleyn, as Queen, established Anne’s children as royal heirs, and ended the authority of the Pope in England. Henry made himself Head of the Church in England because this made him more powerful than the Church itself and because the Pope had refused to grant his annulment.

Henry was not content just to pass this legislation; he required that each important person in the kingdom swear that he or she agreed with this.

In 1534, when Thomas More refused to swear that Henry was the true, Supreme Head of the Church in England, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He entered via Traitor’s Gate. More spent more than a year in his cold, damp cell, attending Mass each day as he was allowed, praying that he would be courageous enough. He would not deny everything he believed. He would not agree that the sacraments, the teachings of the Church, the authority of the Pope should all be abandoned.

In 1535, at age 57, when he still refused the Oath of Succession, he was taken to Tower Hill and beheaded. Just before his death he stated that he was still “the King’s good servant, but God’s first”. He became the first English layman to be beatified as a martyr for the Faith.

In 1935, the Church made him a Saint.

St. Thomas More was chosen as the patron saint for our school community because he was a highly principled person in difficult times. He was not one to change what he believed because of pressure to do so. He was not concerned with popular opinion. His religious conviction, his willingness to do what was right in the face of his own death, should inspire us all to be Christ-like in our daily lives.


School Prayer by Marcus Terrana

Dear God,
Help us to be inspired by the example of St. Thomas More,

Like him,
May we be faithful to our moral and ethical values.
May we acquire knowledge and a love of learning.
May we act in accordance with our beliefs, in spite of criticism,
May we trust in God and in His promises of justice and salvation.

Through the presence of St. Thomas More,
We are called to live faithfully,
Never in doubt.
We are called to live morally,
Never in dishonesty.
We are called to live mindfully,
Never in ignorance.
We are called to live courageously,
Never in fear.

This we ask through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

St. Thomas More…Pray for Us.