St. Catherine Labouré School was formally established in 1952 by the Sisters from the Order of Saint Joseph of Cluny, an order originally founded in France in 1807 by Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey, who had a vision of serving the sick and educating children. In line with her vision, the sisters of the order devoted themselves to education on all levels: preschool, elementary, secondary, and college. They also engaged in general nursing, maternity and psychiatric needs of the people as well as running orphanages and homes for the aged and for those with leprosy around the world.
In 1952, a select group of the St. Joseph of Cluny Sisters focused their efforts in the South Bay, caring for the educational needs of the children of our parish, St. Catherine Labouré. The results of those efforts led many students to advance with honors into the various fields of higher education. They also staffed Saints Peter and Paul School in the neighboring city of Wilmington, California.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny opened the school with their first principal, Sister Carmel Keogh, and continued to staff it for forty years. Under their leadership the school thrived and expanded to 16 classrooms which were completed in 1961. However, the number of sisters in the order began to decline and so, in August 1985 the first lay principal and vice principal were appointed: Mrs. Kathleen Gorze and Mary Dell ‘Amico, respectively.
In 1991 the sisters withdrew sponsorship because of declining numbers in the order. However, under the leadership of Mrs. Kathleen Gorze and Mrs. Mary Dell ‘Amico, the school continued to see growth and expanded to include Kindergarten classrooms in 1995, the Technology Learning Center in 1997 and finally, a preschool in 2009.
Today, our student body has grown to over 400 students, two classrooms per grades K-8, a preschool, and most recently, a Transitional Kindergarten class (est. 2011). We are blessed to have such a rich history and our school community owes a continuing debt of gratitude to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny for their vision, service and inspiration.