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Maria Fidelis Catholic School FCJ

History of our School

Maria Fidelis Catholic School FCJ has a long and interesting history. Its origin takes us back to the French Revolution when the Abbé Carron came to England to minister to the French exiles who had settled in Somerstown, North London. He opened schools in the area and named them after St. Aloysius, the young Jesuit scholastic, who was canonized at this time and who has been declared the patron of Catholic youth.

Maria Fidelis is descended from one of these schools.

The foundress of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, Marie Madeleine Victoire d’Houet, came to England from France in 1830 with a note of introduction to Father Nerinckx, the priest in charge of the schools at that time. After preliminary talks, the girls' school, with all its contents, was handed over to the congregation of sisters.

The school was an industrial school and was supported by charitable appeals organized by wealthy gentlemen in the area. Even in those days parents and friends were thinking of ways to raise money, and showing a general interest in the work of the school- forerunners perhaps of the present governing body and parents’ committee.

From an industrial school it grew into a convent boarding school; then to a day school with pupils of mixed ability who were able to afford fees; next it became a selective non-fee paying grammar school and finally a comprehensive school. Throughout all these changes, the FCJ Sisters have taught in the school.

In September, 1974, Maria Fidelis Comprehensive School was formed by the merger of St. Aloysius Grammar School with St. Vincent’s Secondary School which was run by the Sister of Charity. The name Maria Fidelis was chosen because of the devotion of both religious congregations to Our Lady. Mary was faithful to her son, Jesus, right to the foot of the cross, and the motto of our school is just one word ‘Fidelity’.