150 Celebrations

The action packed celebrations to mark 150 years of Sacred Heart education in Armagh took place on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th September 2001.

It was 150 years since Mother Croft arrived in Armagh and Sacred Heart education came to the city. Mother Croft's residence, the Pavilion, next to what is today the Court House, was in fact the birth place of a vision and movement which has made an immense contribution to the education and development of young women in Armagh and beyond.

It was therefore fitting and appropriate that many people from education, politics, the local and school community and the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart came together to celebrate this historic occasion.

The celebrations commended on Thursday 27th September 2001 with a civic reception hosted by the then Mayor, Sylvia McRoberts at the Palace buildings Armagh.

Following the civic reception, an evening of celebration and nostalgia was hosted in Saint Catherine's College by the Board of Governors and the Principal of the school, Margaret Martin.

Special guests at the evening reception included former teacher at Saint Catherine's College, Mr Seamus Mallon MP MLA and former Deputy First Minister, Mr Martin McGuinness, the then Minister for Education, and Sister Maria Mullen, Provincial of the Irish Scottish Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

During the evening there was an opportunity for parents and invited guests to view the displays prepared by the students reflecting their perspective on 150 years of Sacred Heart education in Armagh. A special commemorative issue of Cor Unum, the magazine of Saint Catherine's College was launched by Martin McGuinness.

The visit of President Mary McAleese was the culmination of the celebrations on Friday 28th September 2001. President McAleese lead the distinguished guest list at the Mass of Celebration to mark 150 years of Sacred Heart education in Armagh in Saint Patrick's Cathedral with the main concelebrant was Archbishop Sean Brady. Following the Mass, President McAleese unveiled a specially commissioned sculpture designed by Mr Paul O'Neill, Rathbanna Copper Works, at the Sisters' residence Siena beside the grounds of Saint Catherine's College. The President then joined staff, pupils and guests for afternoon tea in the school's Assembly Hall