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Notre Dame Day - Why Do We Celebrate It?

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Notre Dame Day - Why Do We Celebrate It?

It's 'Notre Dame Week' next week and on Thursday, staff and students will be celebrating 'Notre Dame Day'. But why do we celebrate Notre Dame day? Find out below:

On February 2 1804, St Julie Billiart and two companions began the order of Notre Dame de Namur, dedicating their lives to the education of poor children as she saw education as a basic human right. She said it, "was the greatest work on Earth".

The sisters of this Belgian religious order came to Leeds in 1898 at the invitation of Canon Croskell of St Anne’s Cathedral to run the schools in the cathedral parish. They arrived on August 29 1898 to No.7 St Marks Avenue in a horse drawn cab to find a neglected residence and no-one to welcome them. The story goes that the cab driver had a wooden leg, which he took off to bang a door down to let the sisters in and the rest as they say is history!

The sisters taught here and opened new school buildings behind No.7 in 1904-5 (the majority of which were demolished in Oct 2008). The name of the new school was Notre Dame High School for Girls. It opened with 7 teachers and 75 pupils.

The sister's aim was to embody the spirit of St Julie by teaching their charges how to live, to know right from wrong, to love God and to serve, what we now know as character formation – something we continue to deliver every day through our Stella Maris virtues!

Staff and students will be marking the occasion through various activities. The itinerary is as follows:

  • Silver Stella Maris Award ceremony for upper sixth who have achieved this - Tuesday 31 at 1.15pm
  • All students learn about the history of Notre Dame in PTE lessons this week
  • Thursday February 2 - Notre Dame Day - staff will celebrate with samosas 
  • Captains and Vice Captains of our sport teams will host a charity event
  • Friday February 3 - student led service in the chapel 1.15pm, Notre Dame Foodbank challenge, and writing competition winner announced. 

    Please note: Notre Dame is committed to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The activities described above match Goals 3 & 4: Good Health and Well-Being and Quality Education. Visit our website for more details.
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