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’


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 18th April 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

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

Notre Dame College

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.