Purpose: This paper reports two related studies of relationships between organizational communication and occupational stress of staff members in Catholic primary schools. Design/methodology/approach: Data from both studies were obtained using survey questionnaires. Participants were staff members of Catholic diocesan primary schools in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, Australia. Research hypotheses were tested using correlation and multiple regression analyses. Findings: Ten organizational communication factors and four occupational stress domains were identified. Several organizational communication variables were found to be predictors of occupational stress in four identified domains. Practical implications: The findings provide implications for school administrators in relation to staff member access to formal communication channels, openness and approachability of principals, and support giving between school administration and staff, as well as among staff. Originality/value: The studies used a conceptual framework of organizational communication that is unique and comprehensive. The paper contributes new knowledge in an area that has received little attention, namely, communication in schools.