Our Mission: Optima Deo – my best for God
St Joseph’s is a Catholic independent school for all. Within the Diocese of Portsmouth and the Parish of Reading, we serve students from a wide area.
With Christ at its heart, at our College, all pupils are encouraged to be stewards of creation, love their neighbour and enjoy a personal relationship with the Lord.
We encourage pupils to make the most of their God-given talents, living out the school motto, ‘Optima Deo’ – ‘my best for God’, every day.
Our strong moral and spiritual ethos naturally guides everything we do. Gospel values of love, mercy and peace, are lived by the children and clearly demonstrated in the way they behave and take care of each other. St Joseph’s provides a warm and inclusive community where pupils of all faiths or none are welcomed and encouraged to make an active contribution to the spiritual life of the school. We aim to deliver life skills of commitment, collaboration, confidence, compassion and communication.
Our School Lay Chaplain is there to support pupils emotionally and spiritually and we are lucky to work with local priests to provide mass at least once a term with other important days marked with prayer services or celebrations of the Word.
Lord, may all that we do begin with your inspiration,
and continue with your powerful help.
May our work be rooted in love and mercy,
that we might love you,
and love our neighbour,
as perfectly as you love us.
Our Patron Saint, Joseph was trusted by God to care for Jesus. He was married to Jesus’ mother Mary. He was a descendant of the House of David and worked as a Carpenter – teaching his trade to Jesus as he grew. We know from Matthew’s Gospel that Joseph was a ‘righteous man’ who welcomed the will of God, stood by Mary and helped to raise Jesus to adulthood.
St Marie-Madeleine Postel was the foundress of the order of sisters who were responsible for coming to the UK and opening our school in 1894. She was born in France 1756 and took vows in 1807. The home of the congregation of sisters of Marie-Madeleine Postel has been St Sauveur le Vicomte in France since 1832 and the congregation are still based there today. Marie-Madeleine Postel is said to be one of the first female extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist as she was given dispensation to carry the blessed sacrament to the sick during the French revolution by priests in hiding. She was canonized in 1925
Patron saint of teachers, De La Salle was an inspiration to Saint Marie-Madeleine Postel when she established her schools. Her sisters had adopted the rules and foundations of his order and strove to do for girls in education what De La Salle had done for boys with his schools and training colleges. Lasallian values underpin much of what we believe at our school today.