Our Story

School History

Welcome to Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School.

In 2002, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board approved the construction of a new secondary school in Ancaster to alleviate overcrowding at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School on the West Mountain and St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in West Hamilton. The school – the first new Catholic secondary school to be opened in 25 years – was named in honour of The Most Reverend Anthony F. Tonnos, eighth Bishop of Hamilton. Bishop Tonnos served as the faithful shepherd of the Hamilton Diocese from 1984-2010, and was a steadfast supporter of Catholic Education.

An official ground breaking ceremony was held on May 22, 2003 on the grounds of the former 17.5-acre Marshall Potato Farm on Highway 53 just west of Fiddler’s Green Road. In September 2004, the school’s inaugural Grade 9 & 10 students began their first semester of the 2004-2005 school year at the former Christ the King Catholic Elementary School. Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School opened in February 2005 with an initial enrolment of 475 students. An official blessing and dedication ceremony, celebrated by Bishop Tonnos, was held on April 17, 2005. The 178,000 sq. ft. school was built at a cost of $24-million with a Ministry rated capacity of 1,250 students. On June 20, 2016, the Board of Trustees approved the installation of a 110,000 sq. ft. artificial turf sports field at the school. A field blessing and dedication, officiated by Bishop Tonnos, was held on October 6, 2017.

We are blessed to have a modern facility where we can provide an excellent broad-based, balanced education to help young people grow to their fullest potential, where they can see and experience the richness of a Christ centred education, and achieve the academic requirements for the Ontario Graduation Diploma. With the guidance and help of an extremely dedicated staff our young people’s experience will be a journey of faith, academics, social teachings, athletics, relationships, and preparation for life experiences.

It is our goal to serve our community with our pastors, with the parents of our students and with our Bishop, to be part of the Church’s mission to place Christ and the teachings of our Church at the centre of our students’ education, and of their lives, because we truly believe in the inscription in the foyer of our building:

The Reason
The Teacher
The Model
The Awesome Inspiration
For All We Do And All We Are


Our Mission

The mission of Catholic Education in Hamilton-Wentworth, in union with our Bishop, is to enable all learners to realize the fullness of humanity of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the model.

The Catholic Community of Hamilton-Wentworth believes the learner will realize this fullness of humanity

if the learning process

- begins at home and is part of family life
- is nurtured within the Parish
- is anchored in the Catholic Faith
- takes place within the context of worship, sacraments, and the life of the Church
- is enhanced by the school community
- is embraced by the learner as a personal responsibility for life

if learning takes place in an appropriate and challenging environment in which members of the school community exemplify the teachings of Jesus Christ which reflects Gospel values and responsible use of human, financial and natural resources which promotes academic excellence and clear indicators of achievement.


Our Vision
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Learners from Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Schools will demonstrate

- knowledge and practice of their Catholic faith model
- the capability of nurturing a strong family unit
- esteem, respect and responsibility for self and others
- academic competence
- the ability to listen accurately and express knowledge clearly
- independence, critical thinking and effective problem solving
- proficiency with technology in order to adapt to a changing world
- the values, attitudes and skills for effective partnerships
- the ability to transform our society

To enable learners to achieve this vision, the faith community of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board will reflect

- the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives
- the teachings of the Catholic Church
- exemplary role models
- social justice, respect and fairness for all
- a dedicated staff
- a curriculum that is dynamic, practical and relevant
- high standards
- an environment conducive to learning
- effective partnerships
- accountability at all levels


Bishop Anthony F. Tonnos
bishop tonnos

Bishop Anthony F. Tonnos was born on August 1, 1935 in Port Colborne, Ontario; he is the fourth of five children in the Tonnos family. His childhood and teen years were largely spent in his town of birth. Higher Education took him to Toronto in the mid 1950's. His Excellency graduated from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Toronto and, in his pursuit of a career in the Church, he achieved a further degree in Sacred Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. Later, he traveled to Rome for additional studies, and returned to Canada after earning his specialist’s designation in Canon Law.

On May 27, 1961 Bishop Tonnos was ordained a Priest in the City of St. Catharines. His distinguished career has involved many appointments and honours: pastor for many parishes; Chancellor in the Diocese of St. Catharines; Judge, Toronto Marriage Tribunal; Prelate of Honour and Vicar General.

On July 12, 1983, in St. Alfred’s Church, St. Catharines, His Excellency was ordained Bishop by the late Most Reverend Thomas J. McCarthy, S.T.D., and retired Bishop of the Diocese of St. Catharines. Bishop Tonnos served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton from this date until May 5, 1984 when he was named the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton. (Now Retired)

In addition to his episcopal duties and challenges in managing the day-to-day workings of the Diocese, Bishop Tonnos is active with both the Ontario and Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the Past President of the OCCB and is currently the chairman of their Diocesan Insurance Plan Committee. He is currently the Treasurer of the CCCB, a member of their Executive Committee and serves on several of the conference’s commissions. Bishop Tonnos also serves as the Delegate of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for Cases of Non-Catholic Clergy in Canada who wish to become Catholic Priests.

We, the staff and students of Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School, are honoured and privileged to have such distinguished Catholic leader consent to the use of his name for our school.


Bishop Tonnos retires after almost three decades of service.

http://www.thespec.com/community-story/217 ...


School Prayer - Prayer of the Titans Written by: Demille Odoardi

Prayer of the Titans

Dear Lord,

Help us to promote an unconditional love for
one another, and be appreciative of the wondrous
blessings and people in our lives. Through a courteous
attitude, may we work together to serve the common
good. As we realize one another’s skills and uniqueness,
may we see each other equally, knowing we are all
made in the image and likeness of God.

May Your grace fill us through our school, parishes, and in
our community. Give us the strength to overcome hardships
and offer support to others. Remind us of the selfless love
that we have for our brothers and sisters. Grant us Your peace.
Fill us with everlasting love. Lord, we pray that we will
become strong leaders and visionaries.

May we look upon life in a positive way, and work
together to achieve all things. We thank You for
the education we are receiving, as well as the
opportunities that we may have in the future.
Father, let us unite as One School, sharing One Goal,
as we serve You, One Lord.

Written By: Demille Odoardi