Father Smyth (Parish Priest: 1884-1904) is quoted as saying “A parish without a Catholic School is only half a parish.” And so, in 1893 he started building the Convent and School, very much along the style of the Convent in Antigua. This meant the downstairs housed the school and upstairs was used as the Sisters’ dwelling. It is the same building we still have to the North of the Church – Parish Centre.
On 20th May 1896, four sisters arrived from England with Mother Ursula as their Superior. Unfortunately she died only a few weeks after her arrival, apparently from yellow fever. In July 1896 the Convent High School opened its door to the first forty pupils. In July 1897, two more Sisters came from County Clare in Ireland to help, but they left the same month for the United States. In August, Sister Mary de Sales left for Mobile, Alabama, and the Superiors in England had only young Sisters still in formation to send to St. Kitts. Thus the Convent High School had to be closed after only one year in operation. Read More
A Tale of Two Schools
1896 — Convent High opened—40 pupils.
1897— C.H.S closed after 1 yr in operation.
1902 — Primary sch. was greatly enlarged.
1903—St. Joseph’s was formed & was under the management of Rev. Stainforth. There were 77 pupils on roll.
1906/7 — Fr. Stainforth bought a large property behind the Presbytery and St. Joseph’s was reopened.
1911 — The Order of “La Sainte Union” accepted teaching posts at C.H.S.