St Mary’s Star of the Sea is a two-stream Catholic school catering for girls and boys from Kindergarten to Year 6. St Mary’s Star of the Sea is part of the Archdiocese of Sydney systemic school system under the direction of Sydney Catholic Schools.
Our history begins on Australia Day 1886 when two Sisters of Charity opened St Michael’s Parish School.
It was located in the old church on Forest Road where the new Bethany Hall now stands. In the 1890s another school, St Mary’s Star of the Sea School, which was housed in the rooms in the long wing of the old convent (now administration block of Bethany College) was established. As well as the traditional subjects of English and Math, the Sisters introduced Music and Art to the school curriculum.
The fees from this school supported the Sister in their educational work which also took them to Rockdale, Penshurst and Kogarah.
In the 1920s St Michael’s and St Mary’s Star of the Sea schools were amalgamated under one administration. This was changed in the late 1960s and a separate administration was introduced for the Primary and Secondary sections of the school. The Primary School continues to bear the name St Mary’s Star of the Sea while the Secondary school was amalgamated in 1993 to form Bethany College.
The Sisters of Charity
The Sisters of Charity were involved in education at Hurstville from 1886 until 1999. The Sisters were the first religious congregation to come to Australia in 1838 and their ministry has been very extensive. They established the well-known St Vincent’s Hospitals, hospices, education and social work centres.
In the year 2000, St Mary’s Star of the Sea came under the leadership of lay administration but will continue to be motivated by the Charity Sisters motto – ‘Caritas Christi Urget Nos’ – The Love of Christ Urges Us On” (Where There is Love there is Christ).