We stand on the threshold of a “new beginning” as a comprehensive Year 7 to 12 Catholic high school. A “new beginning” is an opportune time to pause and reflect on our history as a Catholic school community founded in 1964, in the finest traditions of the Sisters of St Joseph. It also provides the opportunity to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the immense sacrifices made by so many families, teacher support and teaching staff, especially the members of our founding order, the Josephite sisters, to gift current community members with the wonderful legacy we have today.
The essence of any community lies in the quality of its people, and their commitment to exercising a generative spirit in order to become more than they currently are. Beginning in 1964 incredibly generous, caring and visionary people embraced the role of servants, ‘in community’, to establish the foundations which are now enabling the transition to a renewed vision of our school community, as a Year 7-12 Catholic high school in 2018-2019.
Our journey as a Catholic high school at Gateshead commenced in 1964. Aspects of our history at that time are outlined below in memory of and as an expression of gratitude for what the Josephite sisters and all who toiled with and in support of them have given us. A wonderful future beckons. It is built on the selfless labours of our forebears and is inspired by the richness of their legacy and for this we give thanks.
The patron saint of the college is St Mary, Our Lady of the Annunciation and this is retained in the name. The inclusion of "Catholic" is an important recognition of the faith community and it is a clear statement of St Mary’s Catholic identity. Inclusion of the term "College" provides reference to the significant change in the structure of the school from Year 7 - 10 to Years 7 -12, and the comprehensive nature of the education provided at St Mary’s.
With the change in name comes a new visual identity for the college. It is essential that the symbolism faithfully reflects the identity.
St Mary’s school colours are ultramarine and rose. Ultramarine was the original pigment used by Renaissance painters for the robes that adorned Mary and represented holiness and humility. The name ultramarine derives from the Latin word ultramarinus literally meaning beyond the sea which links it to St Mary’s coastal/lakeside location.
The colour Rose. During the middle ages the rose was seen as the queen of flowers and became a symbol for Mary as the queen of heaven and earth. St Bernard compared her virginity to a white rose and her chastity to a red rose. These combined give the Rose colour of St Mary’s.
The challis shaped wave symbolises the waters of Baptism.
The Motto. St Mary’s celebrates the feast of the Annunciation where the angel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary and informs her that she will give birth to the Son of God conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The motto of the college, Ready to Serve, is based on the text from St Luke’s gospel “Behold I am the servant of the Lord”, which was Mary’s response to the invitation to become the mother of Jesus.
The 3 feathers in the tail of the dove’s body represent the trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit and the two sections of the body indicate the two natures of Jesus, fully human and fully divine.
Represented in flight the wings are made up of seven feathers, one for each of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The side angle of the dove demonstrates forward movement that is positive, uplifting and motivated.
The cross acknowledges the foundation of St Mary’s in 1964 by the Sisters of St Joseph.
With the guidance of Our Lady, Mary Mother and Queen, and strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, St Mary’s Catholic College Gateshead is Ready to Serve.