O'Hara Catholic School has a long history as an enriching influence in Eugene and its surrounding community. It was originally founded in 1889 as the parish school for St. Mary in downtown Eugene. The school later became closely associated with the Sisters of the Holy Names who staffed the school for over 70 years, starting in 1916.
In 1968, the campus moved to its larger and present location (formerly St. Francis High School) on West 18th Avenue, and it was called St. Mary School.
The school became the first area school in Oregon in 1971, serving multiple parishes. In 1978, the school's name was changed to reflect its diverse area of service and to honor Archbishop Edwin Vincent O'Hara. Archbishop O'Hara was instrumental in developing a strong focus on the mission of Catholic education. He was the first Superintendent of Catholic Schools of Oregon and the sponsor of the first Catholic high school in Eugene. O'Hara Catholic School continues to serve as an area school to several parishes including St. Mary, St. Jude, St. Peter, St. Mark, St. Thomas More Newman Center, St. Alice, St. Helen, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Henry.