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History and Tradition

Women in time to come will do much.

Mary Ward, 1585-1645 - Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary Ward and the IBVM

Loreto Normanhurst is a leading independent, Catholic day and boarding school under the care of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), also known as the Loreto Sisters. It is part of a worldwide tradition of over four hundred years of educating young women.

Our foundress, Mary Ward (1585-1645), faced the uncertainty of her society with courage and the fervent conviction that "women in time to come will do much." Mary Ward founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1609, which was in turn responsible for the foundation of schools and ministries in England, Europe and, after the time of Mary Ward, all over the world.

A sculpture of Mary Ward stands in all Australian Loreto schools and depicts, in stance and stare, our forward-facing and outward-looking approach to engaging with the world, seeking purpose and meaning.

Download info about Mary Ward

History of Loreto Normanhurst

Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry IBVM, an Irish pioneer of the IBVM, formed the Institute’s first Australian community at Mary’s Mount in Ballarat in 1875.

Seventeen years later, she brought the IBVM to New South Wales when she established the first Sydney Loreto in Randwick in July 1892. Loreto Randwick taught day students and was home to 30 boarders, under the care of Mother Dorothea Frizelle. Within five years, however, the nuns were looking for larger premises.

“It was a rainy day in June 1896. As Mother Gonzaga Barry, Mother Dorothea Frizelle and Mr Frank Coffee approached the Osborn property on Pennant Hills Road the sun burst through the clouds and formed a beautiful rainbow over the estate. Reverend Mother voiced her delight. Her quest was over. This is where I will build my school.”

The extensive property was purchased for the Loreto boarders and the Foundation Stone for Loreto Normanhurst was laid on 28 February 1897.

Download info about Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry View the Loreto Historical Timeline

Houses

There are three Houses in the Primary School and eight Houses in the Secondary School. Each House carries the name of a person or place sacred to the history and tradition of Loreto Normanhurst.

Primary School

Benedicta

Named after Mother Benedicta Fallon, a founding member of the Loreto community who shared her love of music.

Clare

Named after Mother Clare Birrane, a much-loved superior of Loreto Normanhurst over many years.

Dorothea

Named after Mother Dorothea Frizelle, the first Superior of Loreto Normanhurst in 1897.

Secondary School

Aston

Our foundation is strong.

Barry

Our spirit shines through.

Kendall

Creating the future.

Kuring-gai

Many bodies one spirit.

Maye

Hearts and hands united.

Mornane

Brave heart, cheerful minds, indomitable zeal.

Mulhall

Unity burns within.

Ward

Together we strive.

Archives

The Loreto Normanhurst Archives are managed by a Records Manager. The Archives exist to preserve our heritage and to care for the School’s future, the Ex-Students’ Association and the Parents Association of Loreto.

The Loreto Normanhurst Archives are managed by a Records Manager. The Archives exist to preserve our heritage and to care for the School’s future, the Ex-Students’ Association and the Parents Association of Loreto.

Download info about Mother Mary Gonzaga Barry
View the Loreto Historical Timeline

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