Our Story

St Agnes College (as it was originally called) was established in 1962 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. St Agnes opened with twenty nine girls as students, was staffed by three nuns from the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and has catered for students in Year 7 to 10 in the Rooty Hill community for over 50 years.

The original building, which is now the administration block, has an interesting history of its own. Its actual age is difficult to determine but according to local residents it is over 100 years old. One claim is that it was built by Dr Mackay who was the first person to embark on wine production on the Minchin Property (Minchinbury Estate). This property was granted by Governor Evans to Captain Minchin, a stationmaster at Rooty Hill, in the late 1880s. Since then it has passed through many hands. It was completed in 1936 by Mr Carpe, a German wool buyer, and the house was called “Fairholme”. Mrs Carpe ran Fairholme as a guesthouse, as did Mrs Cassidy, the next owner. Mr Rolfe ran it as a golf clubhouse and then sold it to the Epileptic Society, who in turn sold it to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary to run a high school to educate students in Western Sydney.

In 1976, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary handed the school over to the Sydney Archdiocese and the school was placed under lay administration. In 1979, the first boys were enrolled in Year 7. In 1999, St Agnes became a campus of Christ Catholic College but returned to   its prior status in 2004 and was named St Agnes Catholic High School, offering continuity of enrolment, curriculum and pastoral care with all systemic schools in the local area. The first Stage 6 classes commenced with Year 11 in 2019 and these students graduated at the end of 2020. With this came additional classrooms and facilities including the refurbishment of older classrooms and the construction of new buildings which reflect contemporary learning. St Agnes Catholic High School endeavours to maintain the Franciscan Charism of simplicity, acceptance of all and a deep personal love of Jesus. Indeed the handing on of these values has a very important part in the life of the students. The strength of the school lies in the students, in their openness, the joy they have of life, their friendliness and optimism.

In 2022, St Agnes celebrated 60 years of Catholic Education with a Mass held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta.

Our Story

1962 - 1965 Sister Marcionelle Burtille Hayes
1966 - 1969 Sister Stella Beatrice Sweeney
1970 - 1975 Sister Clare Audrey Graham
1976 - 1984 Mr Peter May
1985 - 1986 Mr Stan Hurley
1987 - 1993 Mrs Beverley Johnson
1994 - 1996 Mr Paul Menday
1997 - 1998 Mr Michael Krawec
1999 - 2004 Mr Geoff Hicks (College)
1999 - 2004 Mrs Marie Therese Hirschhorn (Campus)
2004 - 2007 Mrs Marie Therese Hirschhorn
2008 - 2017
Mr Peter Brogan
2016 - 2016 Mr Peter Regan (Terms 1-3)
Mr Peter Brogan (Term 4)
2018 - 2021 Mrs Lisa-Maree Browning
2022 - Current Mrs Jeanette Holland
Our Patron Saint

St Agnes

The school’s patron saint is St Agnes who lived in Rome in the fourth century.

She was a twelve year old girl who endured pain, was tortured, and put to death because she would not deny her faith in Christ.

She is a saint to whom young people can pray for courage and strength in their efforts to live the Christian life.

Her emblem is the lamb.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

St Agnes College (as it was originally called) was established in 1962 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. They were an institute that, in the spirit of Francis of Assisi, lived in simplicity according to the Gospel and found strength for mission in the contemplation of the Eucharist.

Blessed Helene de Chappotin

Foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Helene de Chappotin, was born in Nantes, Brittany, France, on 21st May 1839. She grew up happily in the old Chateau du Fort near Nantes with her own family and that of her ten cousins. The experience of the death of her cousin, followed by that of her two older sisters influenced her young life profoundly.

All the time God was preparing her with great love and gentleness. She had a great thirst for what she called the absolute. In 1856 she had a spiritual experience which coloured her whole life – God revealed to her his love and his beauty. She became convinced that her way was to be the religious life.

A period of research and waiting followed, marked by the sudden death of her mother who could not resign herself to her daughter’s vocation. This was a very painful time for Helene and her plans were put on hold. In 1860 she entered the Poor Clares in Nantes. Just a year later ill health forced her to leave. Four years later she entered the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice in Paris. Here she received the name of Mary of the Passion and was sent on mission to India. She remained in India for eleven years – the final stage of the long preparation which led her to found a Missionary Institute.

In 1876, a series of painful and contradictory circumstances led her to leave the Congregation of Marie Reparatrice with some twenty other sisters. On her return to Rome on January 6, 1877, Pope Pius IX authorised the foundation of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

Mary of the Passion died peacefully in San Remo, Italy on 15th November, 1904. Blessed Helene de Chappotin was beatified in 2002.

Click here to hear our song

To truth through love we go
With faith we travel the road
With Jesus by our side
St Agnes will be our guide

We are called and chosen
To prepare a way for the Lord

We are St Agnes, Firm in the faith
Lighting the world everyday
We are united together as one
We are God’s children, to truth through love
To truth through love (to truth through love)

Verse 2
Through generosity we give to those in need
In trust and loyalty we overcome adversity
We are called and chosen
To prepare a way for the Lord

Lord, giver of life
We come to you
Let the world see your face
In everything we do

December 2011
Prepared by Ms Laura Keenan and students