Origins and History of Saint Louis Secondary School
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Louis was founded in France in 1844 by Fr. Louis Bautain. His great concern was to provide for the Christian Education of the young and his constant themes were unity and the search for truth. His guiding words were the prayer of Jesus to his father: “that they may be one” (Ut Sint Unum).
The Abbé Bautain saw the educational process as creative and on-going, providing for the growth and maturation of the individual towards responsible freedom:
“Give the young all your care and affection, and try to touch their hearts by the interest you show in them. Keep them, as it were, under the shadow of your wing, but never push or constrain them morally. Scrupulously respect their freedom, so that they will learn to decide for themselves.”
The first St. Louis Sisters came to Ireland in 1859, when Sr. Genevieve Beale with two sisters arrived in Monaghan at a time when there was a total lack of educational facilities for Catholic girls. In 1888 three St. Louis Sisters came to Carrickmacross at the request of Dean Birmingham, and opened a small primary school. Gradually they introduced a secondary curriculum to older pupils and in 1899 a boarding school was built. In the 1970’s the boarding aspect was phased out.
Today, the school is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School for girls, run by a Board of Management under the trusteeship of the Sisters of St. Louis.
The aim of St. Louis Secondary School, Carrickmacross, is to foster a school community where all the members live in a friendly environment, where young people are taught to think for themselves, to be responsible for their actions, to hold in respect the world in which they live, and to recognise the importance of spiritual values in their lives.
Our school is a Christian community where all members grow to value their own worth as persons, their loving relationship with God, their links with their family and the interdependence of all people. As such the school strives to be a welcoming place to all irrespective of social, cultural or religious background. Following the legacy of Abbé Bautain we aim to be inclusive, to provide for the education of the whole person in the fullest sense, to be especially mindful of the disadvantaged and those with special needs. Members of our school community co-operate in an educational experience which promotes the formation of young people in a value-based, Christian education in the Catholic tradition. However, we welcome students from other religious traditions and we are aware of and sensitive to their needs.
These Christian values of community must find first expression in the daily life of our school, in management structures founded on consultative decision-making and behaviour management strategies that are just and fair and seek the goal of personal maturity through positive affirmation.
Type of School
Saint Louis Secondary School is a Voluntary Catholic Girls’ Secondary School under the trusteeship of the Sisters of Saint Louis.
The school is managed by a Board of Management consisting of eight persons selected as follows:
The Principal of the school acts as Secretary to the Board of Management. The Board of Management is appointed for a period of three years. The current Board members are as follows:
Mr Aidan Murnaghan Sr Anne Murray
Ms Ann Thornton Ms Monica O’Kane
Ms Sonya Sexton Mr Tom Marron
Mr Art Agnew Ms Louise Carolan
Principal : Mr Gerry Shankey (Acting)
Deputy-Principal: Ms Eileen English (Acting)
There is an active Parents’ Association in the school. Membership is open to all parents of pupils currently attending the school. In the First Term parents meet to elect the Parents’ Council which promotes the interests of the pupils in the school in co-operation with the Board of Management, Principal, teachers and pupils. The Parents’ Council is affiliated to the National Parents’ Council.
There is a Students’ Council that promotes the interests of the school and the involvement of pupils in the affairs of the school, in co-operation with the Board of Management, parents and teachers. Elected members of the Council are drawn from all year groups.
The school has 39 Whole-time Equivalent Posts, including two Guidance Counsellors, a Learning Support Teacher, a Resource Teacher and a Home-School Liaison Teacher with special responsibility for First Year pupils. In addition there are posts partly funded by the Department of Education and Science and partly funded by the school.