The gift of being a small part of a 98-year legacy

Aquinas entrance

Aquinas High School . . . Educating and inspiring young women for a lifetime of faith, learning, and compassionate action for a more just world. – Mission Statement

These words embody the Aquinas High School of yesterday and today. Aquinas was the school I entered as a teenager and graduated as a young woman—one educated in the Catholic tradition by joyful, dedicated, and genuine women religious who prepared each student to navigate the world. My education by the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill began in kindergarten and culminated with a college degree. My “education” continues today as a member of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.

Sister Quigley with students

In 1994, I was invited by Sr. Margaret Ryan, then principal and an Aquinas alumna, to ministry at Aquinas High School, my alma mater. The decision to say “Yes” to this invitation made all the difference in my life. It was a privilege to share in the educational mission of the Dominican Sisters at Aquinas. I was honored to collaborate with dedicated faculty and staff, to partner with parents, and to value the role of benefactor sponsors in our educational endeavors. Their combined efforts and wisdom empowered young women to grow in faith, wisdom, and knowledge. A community of educators and parents challenged students, believed in them, and raised them up to appreciate the value of education. “I can’t” was never an option at Aquinas! I savor with joy, pride, and gratitude 24 years of loving my “job.”

Aquinas High School Blue Ribbon award

My memories as student and administrator will last a lifetime– friendships forged, Christmas Concerts, Spring Shows, sports, reunions, activities, prom, graduation, retreats, Ring Day, sponsors who made attendance at Aquinas possible, an extraordinary faculty and staff, U.S. Department of Education School of Excellence and “Blue Ribbon School” awards, and the sending forth of life-long learners, community builders, truth-seekers, and young people who respect and have a reverence for all. Graduation was always an awesome event– witnessing four years of growth—from girls to knowledgeable and confident women committed to making this world a better one through their work in law, medicine, corporate life, research, politics, engineering, finance, international diplomacy and, most recently, chief of staff for the First Lady! These are the women of Aquinas High School. What a legacy!

In the words of our Alma Mater “Great St. Thomas, guide us as for the truth we stand, and may it ever flourish throughout our glorious land…” may Aquinites continue to live the Aquinas motto—Veritas—and make our world a unified and peaceful one. Aquinas women are hope for the future!

Sister Catherine Rose Quigley, OP

– Sister Catherine Rose Quigley, OP

After more than 50 years in the ministry of education, Sister Catherine Rose serves as an administrative assistant in the congregation’s Office of Information Services.

Scroll to Top