School History

St. Ignatius parish was founded in 1908, opening in a small storefront on Osborne St. Very soon thereafter, the church moved to its second, somewhat more long-term site, at the corner of McMillan and Nassau.  A third move was already being planned, however.

By 1909, the land at Stafford and Corydon, where the parish now resides, had been purchased, and in 1911 the parish was ready to commit itself to building a church, a school and a rectory on this new site.

The parish school-our St. Ignatius School-was promptly opened in a small building adjacent to the new church on January 12, 1912.  Nineteen children attended. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary provided the teachers, who lived at St. Mary’s Academy and commuted down Stafford to St. Ignatius by horse and buggy.

In 1917, the school had grown to the point that an addition had to be built.  By 1928, the school had an enrolment of  three hundred and twenty students.  Two more classrooms were added to the school, in 1952 and 1954, but even so, only a year later in 1955, two classrooms had to be opened in the church basement when enrolment topped 600.  In that year, due to expansion in the community and the evident population pressure at St. Ignatius, St. John Brebeuf parish was created as a “mission” of St. Ignatius. St. John Brebeuf School opened the fall of 1957. Masses were held in the school gymnasium until the church was built in 1965.

Once St. John Brebeuf parish was established, in late 1955, a master site plan was created for St. Ignatius parish and school. This plan called for an eight-classroom addition and a gymnasium for the school, as well as a new convent (the latter on the site of the original school). The realization of this plan resulted in the overall church and school complex as you see it today.

The most recent major changes to the school building came about through reconstruction after a 2007 electrical fire in which the oldest remaining wing, originally constructed in the early 1950’s, was extensively damaged.  The damage was limited to that one wing and renovation began immediately. The school continued to operate, closing for only four days, as classes were moved and accommodated in other parts of the school. The rebuilding was completed in the fall of 2007 and the primary classes and the office were able to move into the fresh, new spaces that they occupy today.

Although there have been many challenges over the years in financing the school, including during the Depression and the Second World War, the people of St. Ignatius parish have always made the education of the children of the parish a primary goal.  In 1964, the provincial government began to provide textbooks to the school, but its sole support financially continued to be parish donations.

In the 1970’s, parishioners such as Frank Cvitkovitch pressured the Provincial Government to acknowledge its constitutional responsibilities towards separate schools, and secured a partial funding agreement, representing fifty percent of operating costs. The parish nevertheless continued to pay the other fifty percent of the operating costs and all of the capital (building) costs, an arrangement that continues to this day.

The Sisters of the Holy Names continued to teach and administer the school for many decades, but eventually more and more lay teachers were added. The first lay principal, Ted Kowaliszyn, was hired in 1981, and although since the early 1990’s St. Ignatius has been fully staffed by lay teachers, they cherish the legacy of service left to them by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.

[Portions of the history were adapted from the 75th anniversary text “St. Ignatius: A Growing Community”.]

Principals Serving St. Ignatius School since 1912

  • 1912 Sr. Anne-Catherine
  • 1919 Sr. M. Agnes d’Assise
  • 1920 Sr. M. Stella
  • 1930 Sr. Hilda
  • 1934 Sr. M. Ignace
  • 1935 Sr. M. Immaculate
  • 1937 Sr. M. William Henry
  • 1940 Sr. M. Adelard de la Croix
  • 1943 Sr. M. Gaudentia
  • 1945 Sr. M. Catherine Cecilia
  • 1952 Sr. M. Pauline
  • 1954 Sr. M. William Henry
  • 1959 Sr. M. Immaculate
  • 1962 Sr. Joan Mary
  • 1967 Sr. Rose Wilfreda
  • 1968 Sr. Mary Gorman
  • 1971 Sr. Susan Wikeem
  • 1973 Sr. Lorraine St. Hilaire
  • 1976 Sr. Joanne Pundyk
  • 1981 Ted Kowaliszyn – First Lay Principal
  • 1983 Bill Burns
  • 1998 Guiseppi Calgiuri
  • 2001 Rick Querat
  • 2007 Danielle Kolton – First Laywoman Principal
  • 2010 Glen Palahicky
  • 2013 Michael Crooks
  • 2014 Jeannine Pistawka


Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary who taught at St.Ignatius School, from 1912

Sr. Anne Catherine,   Sr. M. Evelyn,   Sr. Jules Fernand

Sr. Francis Cabrina,   St. Adelard of the Cross,   Sr. Anne Dolores

Sr. Roger Joseph,   Sr. Yvette Marie,   Sr. Elizabeth of St. Joseph

Sr. Denis de Jesus,   Sr. Mary Stella,   Sr. Henri de Calvaire

Sr. Jean Marie Vianney,   Sr. Stephen Francis,   Sr. M.Corinne

Sr. Margaret of Scotland ,    Sr. Mary Ignatius,   Sr. Lawrence Andrew

Sr. Paul Roger,   Sr. Margaret of the Angels,   Sr. Aloysius Mary

Sr. Kevin Marie,   Sr. Angeline Marie,     Sr. Carol Marie

Sr. Mary Immaculate,   Sr. Gertrude Alke,   Sr. M. Simeon

Sr. Joanne Marie,   Sr. Agnes of Assisium,   Sr. Jean Michael

Sr. Mary Charles,   Sr. M. Guillelmine,   Sr. Michael Martin

Sr. Robert James,   Sr. Mary Terrence,   Sr. Anne Francine

Sr. Ovide du Sacre Coeur,   Sr. Jean de Ste. Marie,   Sr. Raphael Mary

Sr. Lucille de la Croix,    Sr. Henri de Jesus,   Sr. Joan Mary

Sr. Simone Margueritte,   Sr. Laurent de Jesus,   Sr. Denis d’Alexandre

Sr. Carmelle Augusta,   Sr. Electa Maria,   Sr. Guy Marie

Sr. Marie Henriette,   Sr. Jeanne Rosalla,   Sr. Raymone de Jesus

Sr. Gerard Ernest,   Sr. Miriam Rose,   Sr. Mercedes Mary

Sr. Jeanne d’Arc ,   Sr. Laura Marie,   Sr. Delia Rita

Sr. Theodore Mary,   Sr. Catherine Cecilia,   Sr. Anne Margaret

Sr. Mary Ambrose,   Sr. M. Gonzaga,   Sr. George Mary

Sr. Ellen of the Cross,   Sr. Agnes Teresa,   Sr. Corinne Francoise

Sr. Edmond de l’Eucharistie,   Sr. Joseph Carmel,   Sr. Rose Pauline

Sr. Therese Josephine,   Sr. Bernadette Cecilia,   Sr. Anna Rosa

Sr. M. Carmelita,   Sr. M. Phileas,   Sr. Helen Barbara

Sr. Hugh Francis,   Sr. Agnes Eleanor,   Sr. Henri de Marie

Sr. Hubert Joseph,   Sr. M. Gaudentia,   Sr. Sheila Margaret

Sr. Emilie des Agnes,   Sr. Veronica of the Cross,   Sr. Colette Francoise

Sr. Rose Eliane,   Sr. Rose Wilfreda,   Sr. Denis Gerard

Sr. Judith Anne,   Sr. Anne Marie,   Sr. Jeanne Renee

Sr. William Henry,   Sr. Claire Miriam,   Sr. Lucille des Agnes

Sr. Alice Justina,   Sr. Albert de Marie,   Sr. Nicole Marie

Sr. Mary Pauline,   Sr. Marguerite Yvonne,   Sr. Mark Christopher

Sr. Jean de Brebeuf,   Sr. Audrey Margaret,   Sr. Claire Eleanor

Sr. Jeanne Bernadette,   Sr. Jean Olivier,   Sr. George Bernard

Sr. John Peter,   Sr. Josephine Chudzik,   Sr. Beverly Wattling

Sr. John of the Sacred Heart,   Sr. Lesley Ann Sacouman,   Sr. M. Hilda

Sr. Marie Bouchard,   Sr. Maria Ciccarelli,   Sr. Joanne Pundyk

Sr. Diane Belanger,   Sr. Paulette Martel,   Sr. Kerry McCarthy

Sr. Eileen Kennedy,   Sr. Marilyn Gibney,   Sr. Mary Gorman

Sr. Eva Thevenot,   Sr. Carmen Catellier,   Sr. Linda Wiltshire

Sr. Monique Gratton,   Sr. Lorraine St. Hilaire,   Sr. Diane Latremouille

Sr. Maria Soens,   Sr. Mary Vielhaber,   Sr. Joseph de Ste. Marie