The Institute of the Sisters of St Louis was founded, by Louis Bautain and Mère Thérèse de la Croix, in Juilly, (France) in 1842, to promote the Christian education of the young. The first St Louis Sisters came to Ireland in 1859 at the request of the Bishop of Clogher. Louis Bautain was a priest, philosopher and academic, who had been personally affected by the turmoil of the French Revolution and the anti-clericalism of his time. He set himself the task of healing the deep and supposedly irreconcilable divisions that existed between faith and reason and between theology and the secular learning of his time. Bautain saw Christian education as the great need of his day, as “the beautiful enterprise”.
It was his vision of a “world healed, unified and transformed by the saving wisdom of Christianity” that led Louis Bautain to a lifelong search for unity and truth. His guiding words were Ut Sint Unum, May they all be one. This is part of the crest of every St Louis school worldwide; it shapes the approach to community and partnership in each school, and creates the “family spirit” which is so much part of the tradition of St Louis.
Bautain’s “beautiful enterprise” of education is at once worldwide and holistic. It creates a learning environment in which the Catholic/St Louis identity is balanced with openness to the new and the yet unknown. The international St Louis educational network, to which all St Louis schools belong, helps to promote awareness of different perspectives and to experience interconnectedness. It is our hope that this outlook and this network will continue to develop in the Le Chéile Trust.
Further information on the Sisters of St Louis and on the Schools in the St Louis network can be accessed on the St Louis website: www.stlouissisters.org