Aims of the School and spiritual growth The motto of the school is “Veritas Vincit”. We are committed to developing in our students a positive outlook on life and mutual respect and concern for each other. The school, mindful of the values of its foundation, endeavors to cultivate respect for the spiritual and moral beliefs of the Christian tradition and to create a community in which pupils, cared for as individuals, are helped to find fulfillment as they grow towards adulthood.
“Veritas vincit” is a Latin phrase. In English, it means “Truth conquers all”.
“Christ is the foundation of the school
as He is the way, the truth and the life.”
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“The gift of truth conquers all gifts.
The taste of truth conquers all sweetness.
The joy of truth conquers all pleasures.”
– The Dhammapada –
“The reason to strive for knowledge is in order that
our lives will be based on truth
for it is truth that conquers.”
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楓葉象徵天神之后傳教女修會的發祥地 － 加拿大；
葉面上鍥刻著的拉丁文VERITAS VINCIT 則表示了本校的創立目標 － 真理必勝，即本校的校訓。
The Founding of St. Clare’s School in 1927
In 1926 our co-foundress, Mother Mary Garbriel and 3 other sisters arrived in Hong Kong with the aim to open a Chinese novitiate.They rented a flat on Nathan Road, one of the poorest parts of the community at that time and evaluated the possibility of the project.On 7 Feb, 1927, an English institute was set up with 7 students. The institute was named after St. Clare as suggested by Father Shak.The school motto Veritas Vincit, which means Truth Conquers was adopted. It indicates that Christ is the foundation of the school as He is the way,the truth and the life. At the end of Feb 1927, the sisters moved to 5 Peace Avenue in Homantin. With the increasing number of students,the house at Peace Avenue was too small for both the students and the sisters’ quarters. At the end of October, 1927,they moved to 3 Argyle Street in Homantin. Having taken the advice of Bishop Enrico Valtorta,the sisters started to establish themselves in the Chinese district. Eventually, Kennedy Town was chosen to be the new site of the school.The new school was opened on Sands Street in 1930. In 1936, the school moved to Prospect Place, Bonham Road. In 1945-46,the school was reorganized under a new educational system, with 2 sessions;morning session for secondary and afternoon session for primary.
The congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels (天神之后傳教女修會) is the sponsoring body of the School.
In 1913, Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart was a very young Canadian Missionary in Canton when she decided to set up a novitiate for Chinese Girls. She returned to Canada to pray and work for the idea. Two years later with a young Canadian girl of 22, but not yet professed as a Sister, she returned to Swatow at the invitation of the Bishop there. After contacting a fever this companion died. Alone and with the war on, the Bishop advised her to return to Canada and try to found a novitiate there. With the help of the Bishop of Sherbrook, H.E. Bishop La Rocque and the warm encouragement of the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Pietro di Maria, in June 1919 the first Novitiate was opened. In 1922 five Sisters sailed for Kwei Yang in Kweichow – two of those Sisters still live today, in retirement, at the Mother House.
When Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart left Swatow in 1915 she brought with her a young girl of 17 whom she had known as a pupil in Canton. That girl became Sister Gabriel, the co-founder with Mother Sacred Heart in 1919. After long years of work in China and Canada and incidentally the opening of St. Clare’s in Hong Kong, Mother Gabriel died only two years ago in Canada. Each year new groups continued to come to China until in 1949, when expelled from China, they had 14 houses, four of them in Canton.
Training of girls for the sisterhood was their first work and they did this in several dioceses but they also have schools, hospitals and worked in leprosaria, in social work. Mother Mary Sacred Heart chose to follow the Franciscan rule again due to coincidence. Their first house was near a Franciscan monastery, the Fathers there were her first mentors. So again she got what she wanted – to be a Franciscan with accent on poverty and humility, a badge that would distinguish the Sisters of Our Lady of Angels to this day.
Today they have Missions In Japan, Tahiti, South America, Africa, Macau and Hong Kong besides a recruiting centre in Canada and the United States. Everywhere they have novitiates. Macau has given six Sisters, Hong Kong from St. Clare’s School alone have come five, from Mauritius, sent by a Chinese priest, there came to Macau for novitiate two Chinese girls who then went on to Canada for orientation and on to Tahiti where today they use their French and Chinese language to work among the Chinese community there.
The Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels are strictly missionaries. Their Mother Foundress always said if God wanted the work to go on, He would send vocations. Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart the foundress is still living at 88. They have had only four Mother Generals – all four are living today, the second who was in that first group to Kweichow in 1922 is in retirement in Canada, Mother Julienne who spent years in Hong Kong is now active in Lima, Peru and the present Mother who spent twenty six years in Hong Kong – Macau.