Our Lady’s Celebrates 125 years

November 27, 2012

Monday 21st November 1887 was an eventful day for the Sisters of Mercy in Newry and for nine young students, who made history when Our Lady’s School opened its doors for the first time with Sr. M. Philip Magennis as Headmistress. Some time previously, Most Rev. Dr. Thomas McGivern, Co-Adjutor Bishop of Dromore, had asked Rev. Mother Emmanuel Russell, sister of Lord Charles Russell of Killowen, to open a School for the Catholic girls of Newry which was then a very thriving port and commercial centre with good canal and railway systems.

125 years later, the 860 girls who attend Our Lady’s Grammar School in 2012 are happily ensconced in a beautiful school building on Chequer Hall and are beginning a year of celebration to mark this very significant anniversary in the life of their school. This special year will honour the traditions of the past, celebrate the richness of the present and look with faith, hope and love towards all that the future holds.

On Wednesday the 21st November 2012, the formal beginning of the anniversary year was marked by a beautiful sung Mass in the Cathedral of St Patrick and St Colman, which was celebrated by his Lordship, Most Reverend John McAreavey.

The concelebrants were Canon Francis Brown, Canon Cathal Jordan, Canon Francis Boyle and Fr John Byrne, School Chaplain to Our Lady’s. Also present in the photograph are Mr John McArdle, Mayor of Newry, Sr Perpetua McArdle, former Principal of Our Lady’s and Ms Geraldine Pettigrew, the present Principal.