Our Mercy and Marist Heritage

Notre Dame College is proud of its Mercy and Marist heritage and takes great care to maintain the spirit of its founders.

‘We stand on the shoulders of giants.'

History

At the commencement of 1984 Sacred Heart College and St Colman's College which had worked side by side for over forty years amalgamated to form Notre Dame College. The new College was given the name of Notre Dame College, a name derived from the French translation of Our Lady, a title used universally by Catholics for Mary, the Mother of God. Since the two religious orders historically involved in the College, the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy, are both dedicated to Mary, their common tradition is symbolised by this choice of name.

Catholic secondary education commenced in Shepparton on 23 February 1902, when the Sisters of Mercy opened Sacred Heart College with an enrolment of nineteen boys and girls ranging in age from six to sixteen.

For some fifty years, the Sisters were responsible for Catholic secondary education in the area and catered not only for day pupils, many of whom were from other Christian denominations, but also for boarders. Then the Marist Brothers were invited to conduct a Secondary College for boys and so, on 9 July 1951, St Coleman's College commenced with an enrolment of one hundred and five boys from Grade 5 to Form 3 (Year 9).

Both Colleges began to expand in the early 1960s and extensive building projects were undertaken to cater for the increasing enrolments. In the following decade the possibility of some form of rationalisation of resources and shared classes was explored at length. Finally, in April 1983, a decision was taken by the Bishop of Sandhurst and the Superiors of the two religious congregations concerned to amalgamate the two Colleges in 1984. The new College was given the name of Notre Dame College. This name is derived from the French translation of Our Lady, a title used universally by Catholics for Mary, the Mother of God. Since the two religious orders historically involved in the College, the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy, are both dedicated to Mary, their common tradition is symbolised by this choice of name.

Notre Dame College occupies the buildings and grounds of its predecessors and the administration centre is situated in the former Convent of Mercy. Late in 1998, Notre Dame College and St Brendan’s Primary school moved into a shared reception area situated between the College and the Primary school.

Notre Dame College moved from being a co-sponsored College involving the Sisters of Mercy, the Marist Brothers, and the Bishop of Sandhurst as Governors to a Parish-based College, with the Parish Priest of St. Brendan’s Shepparton as the Canonical Administrator in 2008.

Following an extensive period of investigation, an applied learning orientated curriculum was designed for our Year 9 students, and purpose-designed facilities were built on the Emmaus Campus. The Year 9 students moved to the Emmaus Campus in 2009.

Our specialized McAuley Champagnat Programme which was established in 2005, also moved to the Emmaus Campus in 2010.

Notre Dame College derives its strength and vision for the future from the long tradition of service to Catholic education provided for over a century to the people of the Shepparton area.

Our Motto.

"To Seek, To See, To Respond".

The Sisters of Mercy and The Marist Brothers.

Venerable Catherine McAuley

Catherine McAuley was born in Ireland in 1778. Throughout her life she was deeply aware of the human suffering caused by social, economic and religious persecution.

Her faith in the God of Mercy and her commitment to the Good News of Jesus Christ, led her to dedicate herself to serving the poor, sick and uneducated of her time. In 1831 Catherine founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland.

Today, Sisters of Mercy, inspired by the ideals of Catherine McAuley, work throughout the world for the wellbeing of people in need.

In February 1902, six Sisters of Mercy arrived in Shepparton from Bendigo at the invitation of the Dean Timothy Murphy. They accepted responsibility for the administration of St Brendan’s Parish school and commenced Sacred Heart College.

Saint Marcellin Champagnat

Marcellin Champagnat, a French country priest from near Lyons, was born in 1789. He began the Marist tradition of education in Southern France in 1817.

Marist schools, colleges and universities, welfare agencies and young adult projects and communities are found in over seventy countries around the world, their objective being to help young people become ‘good Christians and good citizens’.

The Marist brothers came to Australia in 1872 and now have over fifty schools and a range of other projects for young people.

Marcellin Champagnat was proclaimed a saint of the universal church on 18 April 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

The Marist Brothers commenced St Colman’s College in Shepparton on 9 July 1951 with 107 students from Grade 5 to Form 3 (Year 9).