St. Catherine’s College, Armagh, Ireland
In 1851 Mother Croft and five nuns arrived in Armagh and Sacred Heart Education came to the city. Their arrival was in response to Archbishop Cullen’s vision expressed to Dr Kirby, President of the Irish College in Rome, and passed to Mother Scully in the Villa Lorte …
‘I have been speaking about getting over some ladies of the Sacred Heart to Armagh and I am told that it would be an excellent place for them. There is no school for young ladies in the entire province of Ulster. There is no Convent at all in Armagh and the town is large and respectable.’
The new community joined with the Armagh people in facing years of poverty and social, religious and cultural deprivation in the aftermath of the Great Famine. In those early years, the Sisters reached out, not only to the school-going population but, through evening classes, to the working women of the parish. The community lived in austere conditions but with great generosity, enterprise and adaptability their work, both in the boarding school and in the free school, was characterised by a clear educational vision and early success.
These visionary decisions have borne fruit and Saint Catherine’s College/Coláiste Chaitríona has established itself as one of the largest schools and the premier and most innovative school in the North of Ireland. Saint Catherine’s is a beacon on a hill radiating all that is best in our Irish Christian educational heritage. We look towards the future, confident in our own tradition and steadfast in our commitment to the guiding principles of Sacred Heart Education.
What Makes Our School Unique
The importance of living out the Sacred Heart ethos permeates every aspect of the school’s work. The result is an environment which promotes love of God and understanding of neighbour in a balanced and inter-connected learning experience. In Saint Catherine’s there is an awareness that our high levels of academic, artistic, sporting and musical success and our Sacred Heart ethos are inextricably linked. Ours is a school which embraces inclusion, social justice, high expectations and high standards. We are the only post-primary school in the North of Ireland with an Irish Medium Unit which complements the richness and inclusivity of Saint Catherine’s College/Coláiste Chaitríona.