The College takes its name from Saint Patrick, the inspirational saint of Ireland, whose feast day we celebrate on 17 March.

St Patrick's College was originally founded by Archbishop Francis Redwood SM in 1885 being constructed on a site in Cambridge Terrace, Wellington. It was one of the first fruits of the Society of Mary (Marist Priests) whose members played such a prominent part in the establishment of the Catholic faith in New Zealand and was staffed by Irish Marists.

With an expanding roll, consideration was given to move the whole College out to land acquired in the Hutt Valley. In 1931 the boarding section of St Patrick's College was transferred to Silverstream where the Marists established a new College with many of the original St Patrick's traditions and culture coming through to the Valley. The emphasis was to provide a Catholic boys' Boarding School of excellence, founded on Catholic Marist values and tradition.

This decision gave rise to St Patrick’s Kilbirnie and St Patrick's Silverstream, the two St Patrick's Colleges linked by their common name, history, and the many competitive and co-operative events in which they participate.

There have been 16 Rectors and the first twelve Rectors of St Patrick's Silverstream were Marist Priests. Our current Rector is Mr Robert Ferreira.

The Marist Community living on the property left to live elsewhere in 2000 to carry on the changing Apostolate of the Society of Mary in its service to the People of God. In the last few years we have had Chaplains Fr K Murphy SM, Mrs C Wright, Fr J Greally, Fr P Breeze SM and Fr J Walls SM now on staff.

Over 161 Old Boys have become Priests, including seven who have been consecrated as Bishops.