Our Story

st joachim

St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School opened for the school year 1990-1991 in Ancaster. While awaiting the construction of the new building, the students were housed in three schools, Canadian Martyrs’, St. Ann, and Father Loftus Senior. The original student body of St. Joachim came from the Father Loftus and St. Ann catchment areas. The construction of St. Joachim was completed in February 1991 with approximately 535 students. His Excellency Bishop Anthony F. Tonnos officially blessed the opening of St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School. The name of the school was selected to honour St. Joachim, devoted husband of Anne, father of our Blessed Mother, Mary, and grandfather to our Lord, Jesus, who has shown us the need for religion as the foundation for a happy family. A quilt depicting Mary leaving her parents, St. Joachim and St. Ann and entering a temple where she would receive her education, proudly greets all who enter the front doors of the school.

The nurturing of a vibrant Catholic environment is clearly evident at St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School. The school community is blessed to have a very close relationship with its Church community and be part of St. Ann Parish in Ancaster, located on Wilson Street. St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School community is dedicated to the goal of “Working Together” by having a strong home, school, and parish partnership. The St. Joachim’s Children’s Centre is attached to the school and works well in cooperation with the school to serve the community. This supportive partnership has provided the school with a strong academic and extracurricular programs and an active parent, staff and student body.

Today, St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School continues to thrive, maintaining positive partnerships with the parish and parent community. The St. Joachim Children’s centre continues to flourish. An active Catholic School Council and dedicated staff members working together to maintain high standards and numerous extracurricular activities. The current population of the school is at approximately 410 students, and a staff of about 45. Cooperatively, home, school and parish work to nurture in our students a caring for all forms of life, a love of learning and a strong value system based on our Catholic Faith. All staff members are committed to modelling and teaching our Catholic faith and in developing the whole child. We are dedicated to providing our students with a learning environment that is nurturing, challenging and an extension of the Catholic values that parents instill at home.

At St. Joachim School, we will continue to strive to bring out the best in all our students through living our school motto: "Heart to hand...through Christ...we belong". St. Joachim Catholic School is a warm, caring, Christ-centred place to learn and always striving toward excellence in the Catholic education of our students. We are proud to celebrate and educate the whole child spiritually, academically, emotionally, physically and socially.


Saint Joachim
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St. Joachim is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Tradition has it that Saint Joachim was a retired priest or holy man.

St. Joachim and his wife St. Anne were in the decline of life when Mary was born. Tradition says that while Joachim was away from home he had a vision that Anne was to be blessed with a child, and that on his return home, his wife ran forth to tell of the visitation of an angel who had revealed to her the same good tidings. There was ancient belief that a child born of an elderly mother who had given up hope of having offspring was destined for some high purpose and would be blessed by all the world. He is believed to have given Mary to the service of the Temple when the girl was three years old.

St. Joachim is mentioned in neither historical or canonical writings, but is still widely revered and is the namesake of many church institutions. The only source of information about St. Joachim is the non-biblical Gospel of James, an apocryphal book that was nonetheless widely read. In the 1500s and 1600s, St. Joachim's image appeared on many European coins including the famous Joachim's Taler, a silver coin made for the Counts of Schlick in Bohemia in about 1520.

In the Catholic tradition, St. Joachim is the Patron Saint of fathers, grandfathers, grandparents, married couples, cabinet makers and linen traders. He is shown in old art forms always as an old man often in the company of his wife Anne, and, it is thought, sometimes with the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The traditional tomb of St. Anne and St. Joachim was rediscovered in Jerusalem in 1889. The saints day for St. Joachim is July 26th, as recorded from the 2nd Vaticanum.

Images of Saint Joachim are often identified by the presence of some of his associated symbols, such as a book or scroll representing linen makers and doves representing peace. On the Order's insignia he is shown with a shepherd's staff, a symbol for the Christian word and an emblem of the good shepherd. His robes are of green, a symbol of hope.

The Order took its name from St. Joachim. Although The Order of St. Joachim was founded as a secular order, and Dukes of Saxe-Coburg Saalfeld were protestant rulers, it was not uncommon in the 18th century to name undertakings after saints who embodied the ideals to be emulated.

The name Joachim in Hebrew means "God Prepares", or "God Will Establish".


St. Joachim Catholic Elementary School Prayer



Dear God,

With Our Lord, Jesus Christ as our guide,
help us to lead exemplary lives
that reflect our Catholic values
and a commitment of service to others.

Help us to form a positive environment
that is created by our attempts
to always strive to do our best.

Help us to foster a diverse learning
community through respect
for fellow students and adults in our school.