About Maris Stella
At Maris Stella, each member of our school family is encouraged to shine their own unique light. Meaning “Star of the Sea”, Maris Stella focuses on the holistic development of our girls, educating academically, morally, spiritually, as well as physically. Our strong school spirit and family involvement makes it a caring, happy place for our girls to grow and learn. We encourage service to the wider community which is evidenced in the many outreach projects we support.
A Holy Family School established in 1899, our unique, multi-faceted campus caters for girls from Grade 000 to Grade 12. This wide ranging age group fosters a sense of family and all denominations and faiths are welcome. Our aim is to instil our girls with the necessary life skills, knowledge and values, including confidence, self respect, loyalty and tolerance, to enable them to make positive contributions to South Africa and the world as a whole.
Sisters of the Holy Family Congregation arrived in Natal in 1864 and, shortly thereafter, opened a school in Broad Street, Durban. The original building on the Maris Stella site in Essenwood Road (now Stephen Dlamini Road) was constructed in 1897, and the Maris Stella Convent School was officially opened in 1899. Steady growth in enrolment during the earlier part of this century demanded the creation of additional facilities. Our Chapel was built in 1923 and the Centenary Hall was opened in 1964, marking the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Holy Family Sisters in South Africa.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the number of Holy Family Sisters diminished so that in 1982 the Sisters decided that the school would henceforth be controlled and operated by a Board of Governors representing the parents of the girls at the school, and including the Principal and a member of the Management Team.
The ethos and the traditions of the Sisters still permeate the school even though there are no Sisters living in the building. The Sisters still show a lively interest in school matters and representatives attend most school functions.
Our founder, Pierre Bienvenu Noailles, was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1793, at the height of the reign of Terror that followed the French Revolution. He grew up in a closely-knit family surrounded by loving brothers and sisters. He was a lively child and had a turbulent adolescence. A brilliant young man who succeeded at everything he undertook, he could have had a great career in a number of professions. But God entered his life at the age of 19; he made his First Holy Communion at the age of 20 and entered the Seminary in 1816. Fr Noailles had a special devotion to both the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family of Nazareth. He responded to the call to renew the Church of his time and lived a spirituality which sought God alone in all things like Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Fr Noailles died in 1861, after a life lived in service of God and the poor. His holiness showed itself in the ordinary actions of everyday life and in his constant and burning desire to conform his life to that of the Holy Family of Nazareth who loved, served and sought God alone in all things.
Maris Stella, a Holy Family Catholic School, is centred on the person of Jesus Christ. As a nurturing family community, we strive to live out our faith according to Gospel values. We respect diversity, recognise the uniqueness of each individual, and educate the whole person.
As a Holy Family Catholic School, Maris Stella’s vision is to be a leading institution in educating girls with faith-based values and skills, to enable them to become responsible women who will make significant, positive contributions to South Africa and the world.
Maris Stella is an independent, Holy Family Catholic School, which offers an education based on a Catholic Ethos, in which every girl can achieve her full potential by growing in relationship with God and in service to all people, thus contributing to a free and just society.
It is a privilege to be given an opportunity to play a leading role in developing each girl holistically so that she becomes a meaningful contributor to society at large.
The Ethos of our school enables our girls to receive a faith-based education that will be a guide for all decisions in their lives. We at Maris Stella are firmly committed to facilitating the spiritual growth of each girl in order for them to always have faith on which to draw.
It was Nelson Mandela who in his book Long Walk To Freedom said, “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.” How wonderful that all those many years ago, courageous Holy Family Sisters, recognising the transformative value of Catholic Education, established our school and that as a result of their courage and foresight our girls at Maris Stella are in the incredibly fortunate position of receiving the education they do. Education is, as we all know however, not just about what can be found in subject curriculums.
It is also about learning values, codes of conduct and ways of being in order for our girls to take their place as global citizens who have the ability to effect positive change in the world.
I invite you to visit our beautiful school at your convenience and look forward to meeting you.