Our Story


Information on early history of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and School

Source: Historical records Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

The History of Immaculate Heart of Mary
Catholic School
Winona, Ontario

On August 13, 1952, a meeting of the householders and freeholders residing in the School Section No. 1 Saltfleet held a meeting to establish a Roman Catholic School Zone. A board of trustees was duly elected and proceeded toward construction of a new school.

Land was purchased from Senator E.D. Smith of Winona by his Excellency Bishop Joseph F. Ryan. Reverend Father Godfrey Wolf of the Order Friars Minor Conventuals became pastor of the new parish and took charge of the building of the new school.

On July 13, 1953, ground was broken for the school and the Felician Order of Nuns were secured for teaching services. Sister M. Demaise became the first principal of the two-room school with an enrolment of 25 students from Grades 1 to 4 and 18 pupils registered for Grades 5 to 8.

On December 7, 1953, the principal, staff and students moved into the new school that was blessed by Bishop Ryan. The First Holy Communion class of 1954 had 5 boys and 5 girls receiving the Holy Sacrament.

As the community grew, two new rooms were built in 1956 with a Kindergarten programme introduced in 1959. In 1960, a further extension of two rooms was completed, followed by three more classrooms and a gymnasium in 1963. In 1968, the fifth and final building addition was completed which consisted of four classrooms and a library.

By the early 1970’s, the population of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School approached 300 students and the numbers remained that way until the 1980’s Limited building in the largely rural area meant that enrolment would decline such that in the late1980’s, a population of 142 students brought about discussion of closing the school.

The next few years brought about many changes as a housing boom in Winona added many new families. The school was filled to capacity by 1999 and portables started to arrive. By 2003, five portables were on site and the student population topped 450. In 2004, a six-pack portable arrived to give the school a population of 565 in the 2005-2006 school year.

Exciting news reached the community in May of 2004 as the Hamilton Catholic District School Board announced that a new 53,000 square foot school would be built beside the new Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Completion of the new school was in the fall of 2006 and the students have been enjoying it ever since.


The Immaculate Heart of Maryihom

The history of the devotion to the Heart of Mary is connected on many points to the Heart of Jesus; nevertheless, it has its own history. The attention of Christians was early attracted by the love and virtues of the Heart of Mary.

The Gospel itself invited this attention. What was first excited was compassion for the Virgin Mother. It was at the foot of the Cross that the Christian heart first made the acquaintance of the Heart of Mary. Simeon’s prophecy paved the way and furnished the devotion with one of its favourite and most popular representations: the heart pierced with a sword.

But Mary was not merely passive at the foot of the Cross; “she cooperated through charity”, as St. Augustine says, “in the work of redemption”. St. Augustine tells us that she was more blessed in having borne Christ in her heart than having conceived Him in the flesh.

Another Scriptural passage to help in bringing our the devotion was the twice-repeated saying of St. Luke, that Mary kept all the sayings and doings of Jesus in her heart, that there she might ponder over them and live by them. We understand this especially in the Magnificat.

On July 21st, 1855, the Congregation of Rites approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Now there are at least three feasts of the Heart of Mary:

- that of Rome, observed in many places on the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption and in others on the third Sunday after Pentecost or in the beginning of July
- that of Père Eudes celebrated among the Eudists and in a number of communities on February 8th; and
- that of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, solemnized a little before Lent.

However, no feast has as yet been granted to the entire Church.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: “Devotion To the Heart of Mary.”


School Prayer

Immaculate Heart of Mary, ever listening, caring and consoling, hear our prayer.
We are comforted in knowing your heart is open to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust in your gentle care and guidance. Help us to work and study in the ways you taught us.
Hear our concerns, support our faith and help us to work for your glory.
We ask this in the name of your son, Jesus.