History, Mission & Philosophy

History of St. Polycarp Catholic School

The School was founded by the Columban Fathers in 1959 as a mission school of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Westminster, CA. A member of the Columban Sisters, Sister Peter Claver, SSC was appointed as the first principal. Three years later, in 1962, the school separated from Blessed Sacrament and became part of the newly formed parish named after “St. Polycarp” with Fr. Daniel McLaughlin, SSC installed as the pastor. That same year, four Sisters from the Apostolic Oblates arrived from Italy, in May, and began teaching in the school. At this time, the school consisted of grades 1st through 5th, with over fifty students in each grade. In September of 1963 the Apostolic Oblates assumed the administrative duties of the school and three years later, in 1966, the first 8th grade graduation took place. In 1978, after sixteen years, the Apostolic Oblates completed their duties at St. Polycarp School. The founder of the Oblates, Bishop Guglielmo Giaquinta, had a great devotion to Our Lady of Confidence, and chose her as patroness of the Apostolic Oblates. The school’s motto “My Mother, My Confidence” is a part of the legacy that the Sisters gifted to the school. At the start of the school year in 1978, the school was entirely staffed by lay personnel.

St. Polycarp Catholic School is fully accredited through the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).



St. Polycarp School, TK-8, exists to serve the children of St. Polycarp Parish, other Catholic parishes, and those children of families who embrace our philosophy of education. Our mission is to integrate elements of the Catholic faith with the learning process while providing academic excellence. We nurture and support each student in the continuous growth and development of religious, psychological, social, academic, physical, and aesthetic talents. St. Polycarp School serves as a catalyst in preparing committed followers of Christ who are life-long learners.


Recognizing Christ as the center of our lives, we the community of St. Polycarp School, proclaim our commitment to share the Gospel message with all those we serve. As a people of God, our mission is to nourish the continuing growth and development of the individual’s journey in faith and to cultivate in each a desire to be an instrument of Christ’s peace and justice throughout the world. To accomplish this mission, our community encourages each individual to become a more complete person through the continuous development of his/her religious, psychological, social, academic, physical and aesthetic talents.