St Catherine's Catholic School

History, Ethos & Values


Father Jean Baptiste Debrabant 1801-1880 founded a congregation of religious sisters in northern France to address the needs arising from the revolution. He named this congregation La Sainte Union. Father Debrabant believed that only a Christian based education offered a sure hope "for the future of religion and society."

The work of the sisters of La Sainte Union spread rapidly in France and Belgium. Through their association with the Benedictine monks in Douai, the sisters came to England where they opened their first school in Bath in 1858. Three years later, at the invitation of Cardinal Wiseman in the Diocese of Westminster, a La Sainte Union School opened in London and this was followed in 1899 by Gray’s Convent in Essex and then St Anne’s in Southampton in 1904.  St Catherine’s Catholic School for Girls was the last of the La Sante Union schools to open in Bexleyheath in 1953.

The school was setup by La Sainte Union sisters as a convent school.  Their aim was to further the mission of their own founder, Father Jean Debrabant. In a world where children are influenced by television, films, advertisements and other pressures of modern life, we aim to provide a rich soil in which children can grow spiritually and be supported in their religious faith. In partnership with parents, we support them in the development of moral principles by which they can lead their lives. We want to guide them on their faith-path as well as developing every other aspect of themselves.

This is the content in which St. Catherine's School was founded. It has a clear mission to offer a spiritual basis for the best possible education available to girls and young women.

It is they who will be the educators of tomorrow. St. Catherine of Siena is our patron saint. She is a marvelous role model for young women.  Her life was a spiritual search and filled with love of God which manifested itself in love for her fellow human beings. She was in turn nurse, advocate, peacemaker, politician, writer and educator.  In each of these spheres she excelled.  In everything she did, she was motivated by her mission to do God's will and most especially, to work against the social evils which she saw around her. However, in this task, she always saw her role as an active one where she had to work in the world on the world's terms. We want our students also to be active in the way they live their faith and work with and for others.

Mission Statement