Our School

At Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School, it is our mission to be an inclusive Catholic learning community that inspires every student to achieve their full potential through faith and education. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

School Year Calendar 

Our Board's School Year Calendar is now available. We encourage all parents and students to stay informed of upcoming events, you are encouraged to our school calendar web page to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school. 

Our Motto 
Our motto at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School is "Veritas Bonitas" - urges us to train the mind to seek truth and to pursue goodness. As a Catholic community, we try to provide the environment for growth in love and service to others. 
School Colours 
Our school colours are navy and gold. 
Our History 

In 1962, St. Joseph’s High School was founded on Simcoe Street North through the co-operation of St. Gregory’s Parish under the direction of Monsignor Paul Dwyer and the Oshawa Separate School Board. The Sisters of St. Joseph were commissioned to staff the school selecting Sister Mary Sheila O’Neil as the first Principal, and Sister Constance Stephens as her assistant. A class of sixty Grade 9 students became the first pupils. The school population grew as Grade 10 and Grade 11 were added.

In 1964, construction of the present school began. In 1965, the school opened its doors as a totally private school and was renamed Oshawa Catholic High School, though always considered an interim title. On September 7, 1976, Oshawa Catholic High School was renamed Monsignor Paul Dwyer High School in honour of  late Monsignor Paul Dwyer (died March 19, 1976), who had a special dream and stood firm in his decision to make that vision become reality. 

Monsignor dreamed of a Catholic High School in Oshawa - a school where faith would be openly taught and celebrated, where, enlightened by faith, the students would absorb lasting spiritual and moral values.

Monsignor Dwyer has given us not only the legacy of an established high school and his conviction of the value of Catholic education, but also he has left us the example of his priestly life. For fifty-three years, Monsignor served God's people as herald of the Good News of salvation and as minister of God's loving mercy.

It is our hope that the life of Monsignor Paul Dwyer will be an inspiration and a challenge to our students. May their lives reflect the serenity of spirit derived from living faith and truly loving God.


Monsignor Paul Dwyer 

On October 28, 1958, Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope. He had taken the name of Pope John XXIII. Owing to his age of seventy-seven years, John XXIII was elected as a stop-gap pope. He helped to modernize the Catholic Church in association with the photo of Monsignor Paul Dwyer Second Vatican Council. On April 27, 2014, Pope John XXIII was canonized as Saint John XXIII in the Roman Catholic Church.   How did the Papal slippers of this Catholic saint end up at Msgr. Paul Dwyer Catholic High School?

Paul Dwyer was born 1898 in Parry Sound, Ontario. He had five sisters and two brothers (one sister was a nun). He graduated from St. Michael's College, Toronto, in 1919 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Our founder was accepted into the Irish College at the University of Rome and spent four years before graduating with a Doctorate of Sacred Theology in 1923, classes in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1923.

From 1921 - 1925, Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII, was stationed in Rome as the Italian president for the Society for the Propagation of Faith in Rome where he met Paul Dwyer and the two men became friends. Roncalli was studying Canon Law prior to his elevation as Titular Archbishop of Areopolis and Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria.

Upon his return to Canada, Father Dwyer was posted to St. Mary's Parish in Welland for eight years. According to Sister Anne Schenck, retired Dwyer principal, Monsignor had taught at Holy Cross School (in Welland) and then was the headmaster of Grey Gables (a private boys school in Welland) for the next ten years. At Grey Gables, Father would have taught some of the rich and powerful of Canada's Catholics including the Labatts of Labatts Breweries. In 1941, he became a Royal Canadian Air Force Chaplain serving in England and Canada. In 1945, he was the Command Chaplain of Eastern Canada.

Father Dwyer was appointed pastor of St. Gregory the Great Church, Oshawa, for twenty-four years (1949 - 1973). At one point, he was the sole Italian consul. When he first arrived in Oshawa, there were only twelve rooms available for Catholic students and two churches (St. Gregory the Great and Holy Cross)

Father Dwyer was named a Domestic Prelate to Pope John XXIII and granted the title of Monsignor in 1961. He attended both Vatican Councils as a Canadian clergy representative and renewed his friendship with Pope John XXIII. At this time, there were fourteen distinct offices of Monsignor; however, the Domestic Prelate was considered an honorary member of the Papal Household and received a gift. This gift was the slippers which Angelo Roncalli, now Saint John XXIII, wore when he was consecrated as Pope. These are the slippers which are now in the main office of the school.

As alumni, we must never forget how important the gift of Catholic education was to Msgr. Dwyer. He presented diplomas at each Monsignor Paul Dwyer handing out high school diplomasSeptember Grade 12 Graduation up to and including 1975, the year before he died.

Monsignor Dwyer was a founder of Oshawa's thirty member church council in 1968. He was an ardent curler and golfer who was involved with many civic organizations including: Children's Aid Society, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Oshawa Men's Hostel Services, Knights of Columbus, Parent-Teacher Associations, and the Daughters of Isabella. He was an advocate for many immigrants, counselling them and making them welcome in their new community. Monsignor Dwyer was present for the cornerstone laying of a United Church, spoke in a synagogue and at Masonic meetings. For his holidays, he would travel to Rome and held audiences with five popes. Monsignor 'retired' at age 75 in 1973 which was the anniversary of his fiftieth year in the priesthood.

Monsignor Dwyer passed away March 19, 1976 at the Oshawa General Hospital and is buried at St. Augustine's Seminary in Scarborough, Ontario.

On his death, certain personal effects were bequeathed to the school including the Papal Slippers. In the school front foyer displayFormer Dwyer student stands with papal slippers window, visitors will see a copy of Monsignor's Missale Romanum (donated by 1975 OCHS graduate, Ken Bodnar), bound in vellum and printed in the late 1800's. Missale Romanum was brought back from Rome by Father Dwyer in the 1920's and it was a keepsake. Ken Bodnar says this Missale was used for Latin masses said at St. Gregory the Great Parish, Oshawa, from the 1940's up to the moment when the rite of Mass was switched to English.

Biographical information for Monsignor Paul Dwyer provided and compiled by graduates Ken Bodnar (OCHS, 1975), Maureen Moloney (Monsignor Paul Dwyer CHS, 1977) and Joe Szekeres (Monsignor Paul Dwyer CHS , 1978)



As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to
        follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose
        students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in
        daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can
        testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you".
        As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and
        any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School.

Contact Us 

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Shawn O'Hare

Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School
700 Stevenson Road North,
Oshawa, ON  L1J 7S2

Phone: 905-723-5255
Fax:: 905-723-1631

Follow us on Twitter @PaulDwyer_DC