On March 28th 2011 we celebrated the 160th anniversary of the Sisters of Notre Dame beginning their profoundly important teaching work in the City of Liverpool.
If you think now of the great legacy that the Sisters of Notre Dame have left here in Liverpool; Notre Dame Woolton which was later to become St. Julie's and Notre Dame Everton Valley and Mount Pleasant training college which was responsible for training Catholic teachers and later became Hope University College, you begin to think of the thousands of families who have been touched by that vision which began here 160 years ago from a small event which has sent thousands of ripples down those years.
March 28th 1851 was a Friday. An ordinary day which turned out to have an extraordinary impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Liverpool people. Two Sisters stepped off a train in Lime Street. The Sisters had been called by Father James Nugent, founder of the Nugent Care Society, to help educate the poor families in the area. They were joined later in the day by two other Sisters. Their diaries show that they ate together in their house on Islington Flags "Being Friday, the dinner consisted of fried soles, potatoes, and rice pudding."
On Monday 31st March 1851 they started teaching in their first school, St. Nicolas's, and so began the thread which was to eventually to connect so many of us together today.
To help illustrate the impact of their work, we asked some of our former pupils to tell their story. As you may have heard from our radio campaign, we started off with Hayley Morson, a St. Julie's pupil who saw the sky as no limit and took her talents to 50,000ft. Next to tell her story is a face you might recognise from TV - Granada Reports Journalist Rachel Phillips. Our final advert features two of our more recent students: Lateefah Wainwright and Natalie Edwardson - both of whom are currently studying at University.
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