Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur
The congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur was founded in Namur, Belgium after the French Revolution. Father Minsart, a religious of the Order of St. Bernard, was deeply troubled by the plight of young girls in his parish. With no resources or education, deep poverty forced them into the most menial of tasks and even prostitution. In 1819, he asked two young women to open a sewing workshop so that skills and basic education could be offered. With these humble beginnings, they established schools and academies in Belgium, and, in 1863, the first missionaries of the congregation were sent to the United States of America.
The Sisters came to Texas in 1873, continuing the venture into unknown places. Today the Sisters are still educators and passionate supporters of non-violence, promoting the pursuit of peace and continuing their work in education, health care, prison ministries, immigration, and adult formation. The Sisters maintain missions throughout the world.
The SSMN administered Our Lady of Victory High School on the Southside of Fort Worth. The school was moved to its current location on Bridge Street in 1961. The SSMNs continued to administer the school as Our Lady of Victory for accredidation purposes with the assistance of the Brothers of the Society of Mary administering the boys.
In 1969, the school became co-educational and the Society of Mary took on the administration responsibilities. The SSMNs still taught at the recently named Nolan Catholic High School. They continue to have a presence in the school and on the NCHS Board to ensure that their part in the spiritual origins of our school remains a constant influence in the life of our students. Their collaboration with the Marianists is a clear example of how two congregations with similar charisms can share in an educational mission that ultimately benefits the entire Church.