Our Story

Our Story

The story of Sacred Heart is a captivating tale that unfolds in 1861 France, centering around the remarkable young woman, Euphrasie Barbier who founded the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM).

Our Founder

Euphrasie Barbier was born in Caen, France in 1829. At 19 years of age she set off to Paris to join the congregation of the sisters of Calvary. In 1861, she founded a new congregation, Institute de Notre Dame des Missions, in Lyon. The first foreign missionaries, all French, left France in late October 1864 for New Zealand where within the year they were busy teaching children of the European settlers and young Māori girls. Life was not easy for the young foundress. In spite of difficulties the congregation flourished and allowed the establishment of new foundations.

Zeal for the glory of God is our special distinctive spirit.

Before she died in 1893, Euphrasie had built up 16 self-sufficient communities in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, England, India, and France. We are fortunate to continue to have the presence of Euphraise’s Sisters in our Community.

Our College History 

The arrival of the RNDM Sisters, in July 1884, to provide a Christian education for the children of early settlers (30 girls and boys!), paved the way for Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton. The Sisters were inspired by a daring and courageous vision that led them to take risks and reach out to the margins of society. The harsh conditions of the Waikato, after the bloody land wars of the 1860s, was the place of Mission for the four pioneer Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM).

From modest beginnings in 1884, Sacred Heart Girls’ College in Hamilton has grown, with faith and vision, to become the modern learning academy it is today.

We carry through the educational mission of our founder Euphrasie Barbier, by offering our unique Catholic Character and Charism to our ākonga and provide innovative, flexible spaces to facilitate highly effective learning and teaching.

  • Our Story
  • Our Story
  • Our Story

Known initially as St Mary’s College and the only Catholic girls’ school in the Waikato region, the name changed to Sacred Heart Girls’ College in 1946. Later, a move across the road to the site on Clyde Street and an ever-increasing roll meant additional outdoor facilities and netball and tennis courts were added.

In 1980 the school became integrated, and in 2012 the boarding hostel (Euphrasie House) was closed as the buildings did not meet the new earthquake safety regulations. In 2014 the school added a new Library and Arts block, and following a fire in 2017, an extensive rebuild began culminating in the establishment of a new Student Centre and Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) which opened in 2021.

For more history on the College:

In 2019, an extensive archival project began (and continues) to capture over 130 years of history for past, present and future students to enjoy. Learn more about HERstory here.

Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral

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Parish Priest: Fr Darren McFarlane

Pastoral Assistant: Andrea Savage
Email: andrea@cathedral.cdh.nz
Phone: 07 856 6486

Street Address:
494 Grey Street, Hamilton East 3216

Postal Address:
P. O. Box 4007, Hamilton East 3247

Date of Dedication:
Dedication: 27 April 1980
Re-dedication: 7 November 2008