Saint Bonaventure's College

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For the university in New York that was formerly known as Saint Bonaventure's College, see St. Bonaventure University.
St. Bonaventure's College
"From Here to A Just World"
Bonaventure Avenue
St. John's, NL, Canada
Religious affiliation Society of Jesus
Principal Dr. Greg O'Leary
Staff 39
Funding type Private, Roman Catholic
Grades K-12
Campus Urban
Colors Maroon, Navy Blue, Gold
Established 1856
Enrollment ~350
President Mr. Thomas McGrath
Homepage St. Bonaventure's College Website

St. Bonaventure's College (commonly called St. Bon's) is an independent kindergarten to grade 12 Catholic School in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is located in the historic centre of North America's oldest city, adjacent to the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. John The Baptist.

The school was founded by the Franciscans in 1857, and from 1889 was administered by the Irish Christian Brothers. In 1999, St. Bon's became an independent Roman Catholic School in the Jesuit Tradition. In 2003, St. Bon's became a member of the Jesuit Secondary School Association.


In 1855, there was a public auction to sell more than 30,000 building stones from Waterford, Ireland, which had been imported to build the local penitentiary. The Catholic Bishop of the day, Right Rev. John Thomas Mullock, took advantage of plans to build a smaller penal institution and purchased sufficient surplus stones to construct a Franciscan monastery. (The building was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure on May 15, 1989 by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.)

In April 1857 the bishop laid the cornerstone of the college named after the Franciscan Order's most scholarly and famous theologian, St. Bonaventure. A year later, in March 1858, the new facilities opened. Dormitories were installed upstairs as the institution operated as a seminary. Seven years later in 1865 the college began to admit secular students and, in 1889, the Irish Christian Brothers assumed administrative responsibilities for the school.

The school was closed in 1998 due to the end of denominational education in the province. In 1999, the school was reopened with the Society of Jesus, from their local St. Pius X Church, offering administrative help; it is now the only K-12 private school, and the only Catholic school, in the city.

Some of Newfoundland's greatest political and cultural leaders were educated at St. Bon's. Among its graduates are many Rhodes scholars, Jubilee scholars, two lieutenant governors, three chief justices, five archbishops and six regular Bishops. In addition, Newfoundland prime ministers Sir Edward Morris and Sir Michael Cashin were both St. Bon's alumni. Former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, also attended St. Bon's, although he graduated from nearby Gonzaga High School.

The school was also a perennial leader in sports and was the first educational institution to institute an annual sports day. The prestigious Boyle Trophy has a long association with the school.

The school is now well known for its excellence in music. Under the direction of Vincenza Etchegary, the school now has more than seven bands, has won numerous awards, and has traveled to MusicFest Canada to compete in competitions, winning several awards there. In 2004, St. Bonaventure's College Wind Ensemble won the CBC Radio 2004 Provincial School Band Competition for Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2007, the Wind Ensemble traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the All American Band Festival, and took home many awards, including Most Outstanding Band. The school's choirs have also achieved success in many local competitions under the direction of Kellie Walsh; the Senior Choir won the 2006 Kiwanis Rose Bowl, and the Treble Choir won the same award in 2007. In April 2009, the Wind Ensemble, Senior Jazz Band and the Treble Choir of the school travelled to Anaheim, California, to participate in the Heritage Music Festival, winning the top awards.


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Coordinates: 47°34′03.89″N 52°42′43.64″W / 47.5677472°N 52.7121222°W / 47.5677472; -52.7121222