Our Parish

St Michael's School, the first Catholic school in Rotorua, was originally situated at the lakefront from 1903 to 1924, and later moved to Ranolf Street from 1924 to 1958. In 1958, the school underwent a change, with the original St Michael's School being renamed St Mary's and remaining at the same location, while a new school was established on May Road and called St Michael's School.

The opening of St Michael’s Catholic School in 1958 was made possible by a group of Sisters of Mercy who had recently arrived from Ireland. These women were inspired by their founder, Catherine McAuley, and became involved in various institutions, such as schools and hospitals, around the world. Despite limited resources and funding, the sisters were committed to their vision of providing children with an education that emphasized God’s love.

Over time, there were fewer women answering the call to become sisters, but fortunately, the Integration Act was passed by Parliament in the 1970s, allowing for teacher salaries to be paid by the State and other costs to be met by the Catholic Bishops. Although there are no longer any Sisters of Mercy at the school, St Michael’s Catholic School continues to uphold the Mercy values of compassion, excellence, hospitality, respect, social justice, and service. The school also honors the original sisters by celebrating St Patrick’s Day each year.

Today, St Michael’s Catholic School prides itself on its strong family values of love and belonging. Many of its students are second or third-generation pupils, and some staff members, including the Principal are ex students. The school is inclusive and celebrates each and every child, considering them as a gift of God. St Michael’s Catholic School extends a warm welcome to those who wish to become a part of our whanau.