College History

Our History


At St Saviour's College we engage with the mystery of life within the context of the Grand Narrative. This is the exciting and enchanting cosmic story of creation. The energy that birthed the Universe is the energy that birthed Jesus, is the energy that birthed Catherine McAuley, is the energy that birthed this community. The story of Catherine as it is told here is the story that nourishes our College and provides a framework for us to give meaning to our lives.

A Story of the Energy of Catherine McAuley

Catherine McAuley was born on September 29, 1778 in Dublin, Ireland. Her father was a man who cared for the poor people of the time and this example impacted on the young Catherine. Her mother was not a good manager of the home finances and the family became very poor.


After her mother died Catherine, with her brother and sister, went to live with relatives. As she grew older, Catherine went as a companion to live with Mr and Mrs Callaghan, friends of her relatives. Catherine was a reflective woman and she observed that the people who lived around their home were poor and uneducated. She desired to do something for them and the Callaghans supplied the money she needed to help the village children. Her feminine awareness of the poverty in the daily lives of others, especially the young girls and women, led Catherine to teach young women needlework and she ran a small shop for them to sell their goods.

Catherine was receptive to the needs of people and when Mrs Callaghan became sick, she read to her and nursed her until she died. The death of those she loved was a constant source of pain for Catherine and soon she lost Mr Callaghan. He appointed her the sole beneficiary of his money and this generosity enabled Catherine to put into effect her plan to educate young servant girls. Her imagination for what could be and her passion for life and for the future of young women led to the leasing of a property in Baggott Street, Dublin. As it was being refurbished, she studied current educational methods in preparation for her new endeavour.

On the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, 24 September 1827, the new institution for destitute women, orphans, and schools for the poor was opened and Catherine McAuley, with two companions, undertook its management. Catherine died on November 11, 1841 and she was buried as she had wished, with a ceremony that was customary for poor people.


Our Name

St Saviour’s College takes its name from the Basilica of the Saviour, (or Jesus Our Saviour), the original name of the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome. This Basilica is the Pope’s Cathedral Seat as Bishop of Rome.

Convent Superiors and School Principals

• 1868 - Miss Kate Reardon (St Patrick’s School)

• 1874 - Sr Mary Rose Flanagan

• 1875 - Sr Mary Evangelist

• 1889 - 1898 Sr Mary Audeon Fitzgerald

• 1898 - 1921 Sr Mary Benignus Stritch

• 1921 - 1927 Sr Mary Damian Dunne

• 1927 - 1929 Sr Mary Thecla Kelleher

• 1929 - 1932 Sr Mary Agnes Harvey

• 1932 - 1939 Sr Mary Alphonso Greely

• 1939 - 1943 Mother Mary Austin Murphy

• 1943 - 1950 Sr Mary Ildyphonsus Kerwin

• 1950 - 1956 Sr Mary Assumpton O’Keefe

Convent Superiors

• 1956 - 1963 Mother Mary Imelda Brosnan (Sheila) rsm

• 1963 - 1966 Mother Mary Brigideen Kelly (Eileen) rsm

• 1966 - 1969 Mother Mary St Germaine Greathead rsm

• 1969 - 1971 Sr Mary Imelda Brosnan rsm

• 1971 - 1973 Sr Mary Lourdes Moylan rsm

• 1974 - 1977 Sr Eilleen Kelly rsm

• 1978 - 1980 Sr Madeleine Gleeson rsm

• 1981 - 1983 Sr Mary Loyola Boyle rsm

• 1984 - 1985 Sr Christine White rsm

• 1986 - Sr Trea Brewer rsm

• 1987 - 1989 Sr Etienne Flynn rsm

• 1990 - 1996 Sr Maura Keane rsm

• 1997 - 1998 Sr Connie Kennedy rsm

• 1999 - No Superior

College Principals

• 1948 - 1952 Sr Mary of Mercy rsm

• 1953 - 1965 Sr Jean Marie rsm

• 1966 - 1970 Sr Mary Austin rsm and Sr Mary Eucharista Dittmer (Sr Thecla Dittmer) rsm

• 1971 - 1975 Sr Maureen Skippington (Sr Damian Mary) rsm

• 1976 - 1983 Sr Rita Huxley rsm

• 1984 - 1988 Sr Moyna Stabe rsm

• 1989 - 1998 Mr Terence Sheely

• 1998 - 2003 Mr Niall Coburn

• 2004 - 2007 Mrs Margaret Lee

• 2008 - 2016 Mrs Margaret Battle

• 2017 - 2023 Ms Sharon Collins

• 2024 - present Mrs Jessica Wade