Saint Bonaventure's College

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St. Bonaventure's College
Logo Saint Bonaventure's College.png
2A Bonaventure Avenue
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C 6B3
Coordinates 47°34′03.89″N 52°42′43.64″W / 47.5677472°N 52.7121222°W / 47.5677472; -52.7121222Coordinates: 47°34′03.89″N 52°42′43.64″W / 47.5677472°N 52.7121222°W / 47.5677472; -52.7121222
Type Jesuit (Roman Catholic)
Motto "Educating in the Jesuit, Catholic Tradition"
Established 1856; 162 years ago (1856)
President Mr. Thomas McGrath
Principal Mrs. Annette Mallay
Staff 42
Grades K-12
Enrollment 370
Campus Urban
Color(s) Maroon, Navy Blue, Gold
Athletics Hockey, Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer

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.


Mullock Hall

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.[1]

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.[2]

The school is now well known for its excellence in music.[3] 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. More recently, the Wind Ensemble won the 2017 CBC Music Class Challenge for their rendition of the 2018 Olympic Theme Song and had their version broadcast during national olympic television coverage on CBC. 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. The choral program is now currently under the direction of Susan Quinn.

A Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Governors in 2015. This plan which outlines strategic initiatives to further the school's mission has met with considerable success.

In May 2017, the school launched a news magazine, "Magis." This magazine distributed to the school community and benefactors, outlines how the school is achieving its mission of forming, "Men and Women for and with Others."


  1. ^ "History – St. Bonaventure's College". Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  2. ^ "Athletics – St. Bonaventure's College". Retrieved 2017-09-23.
  3. ^ "Music – St. Bonaventure's College". Retrieved 2017-09-23.

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