The Sisters of St. Louis is a religious community which was founded in post-revolutionary France in 1842 in Juilly outside Paris. The founder of the order, Louis Marie Eugene Bautain, was guided by Christ’s prayer, Sint Unum – “that they may all be one”. His vision of a world healed, unified and transformed motivates the order to respond to the social, educational and spiritual needs of the time.
The Sisters of St. Louis have been in Ireland since 1859, when three sisters came to Monaghan from the French Motherhouse near Paris.
In 1949, at the invitation of Cardinal D’Alton, they set up a convent in Dundalk where they secured a site beside the historic 15th century Castletown Castle also known as Bellew’s Castle. The whole site is known as Dún Lughaidh.
Four St. Louis sisters, Sr. Jeanne D’Arc, Sr. Hildegard, Sr. Dympna and Sr. Therese opened a secondary school on the site named St Louis Dundalk on 4th September 1950 and the school was located in what is now the convent house. The school started with 16 pupils and quickly expanded in numbers. The main school building was built and officially opened on 8th September 1953. St Louis was a boarding school for several years whilst also accepting day pupils.
In the years after the main building opened, a hall (Chapel Hall) was built onto one end of the building and the Castle was developed and has rooms on each of the four floors which were in use by the school up until last year when Health and Safety regulations meant it was no longer available. In the early ‘70’s, a new wing, Dealga, was added at the back of the main building and contains most of the specialist practical rooms i.e. Art, Home Economics, Science, Geography and an ICT room. In the early ‘90’s, another Home Economics room and a Science Lab were added to this wing.
In 1992, President Mary Robinson officiated at the opening of the new school Gym which is located along the Bellewsbridge Road.