Our History

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.

  • Teresa Heinz, Kerry nee Lopes Ferreira

Our Founder

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.