Sacred Heart Primary School has a long and proud local tradition having been founded in 1915 by the Sisters of Mercy, an order founded by Irish sister Catherine McAuley. Catherine McCauley encouraged her congregation to work for all peoples, to educate, to care for the marginalised, and to make a difference for all in their communities.
The original St Catherine’s Convent was built in Cunnamulla by Fr Cashman and was dedicated by Archbishop Duhig on 18 October 1914. In the Summer of 1914-1915, Fr Cashman (the Priest responsible for the Cunnamulla Parish) went to Brisbane to request some Sisters to run a school in Cunnamulla. He sat at All Hallows and smoked his pipe until the Reverend Mother agreed, she took some convincing!
In 1915, the school was opened. It began with 3 Sisters of Mercy, Sr M Scholastica, Sr S M Gertrude and Sr M Irene, who remained on staff until her death in 1952. The Sisters taught on the verandas of the convent and in the Church because there was no school building. The convent was also a boarding school during this time.
On 19 February 1922, a new school was erected by Fr O’Rourke during the absence of Fr Cashman and was blessed and opened by the Archbishop. In 1929, the Diocese of Toowoomba was created and one of the first acts of the new Bishop, (the Most Rev James Byrne DD) was to provide a new parish in Cunnamulla.
In 1966, under the inspiration of Fr Bergin, the Parish built a new school complex which was opened and blessed in August. Up until this time, the school took the name of the convent, St Catherine’s but with the opening of a new school the name was changed to Sacred Heart Parish School. There would be few schools in Queensland of comparable size that have facilities as superb as those possessed by Sacred Heart Parish School.
In 2015 the school celebrated its Centenary and acknowledged the work of the 100 Sisters of Mercy who served the school over the 100 years.