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Badin will reestablish affiliation with Sisters of Notre Dame at Oct. 18 Mass

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Stephen T. Badin High School (Courtesy Photo)
Stephen T. Badin High School (Courtesy Photo)

Badin High School’s annual Heritage Mass will come with an important addition on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

The only Catholic high school in Butler County is set to officially announce its re-affiliation with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, which previously ran Notre Dame High School in Hamilton from 1886-1966.

“We are thrilled to reestablish our relationship with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur,” said Mrs. Kim Graham, the director of alumni relations at Badin. “The Sisters of Notre Dame have a rich history of education in Hamilton. Even though Notre Dame High closed in 1966, the Sisters continued their ministry of teaching at Badin High School through the 1990s.”

Notre Dame, an all-girls school, and Hamilton Catholic, all boys, closed following the 1965-66 school year. Their successor school, Stephen T. Badin High, opened in the fall of 1966 on New London Road in Hamilton and celebrated its 50th anniversary this past school year.

Father Ed Pratt, Badin’s chaplain, will celebrate Mass in Mulcahey Gym at Badin at 10 a.m. on Oct. 18, and afterwards the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur will be front and center as the school signs official documents reestablishing this important affiliation.

“We have been talking about this for some time,” said BHS Principal Brian Pendergest, giving credit to Graham, Father Pratt, and Gina Helms, the school’s director of campus ministry, for bringing the arrangement to fruition.

“We have been celebrating the half-century legacy of Badin High for the past two years,” Pendergest noted, “and what better time than now to reestablish our connection with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.”

Saint Julie Billiart established the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the early 1800s in Belgium, and the sisters came to Cincinnati in the middle of the 19th century. They have spread their values through education all over the world since then, and continue to do so today.

“Our last Sister of Notre Dame, Sr. Julia Marie Schutte, retired in 1994, but the spirit of Notre Dame and the Sisters continues to live on through today,” Graham said. “It will be wonderful to have the Sisters back at Badin and extend the tradition of excellence in education that is their hallmark.”

Graham is also pleased with the opportunity to invite graduates back to share in this important milestone with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

“Each year at the Heritage Mass we reflect on our rich history and share it with our current students so that they understand what it truly means to be a part of the Badin Family,” she said. “This year, the Heritage Mass offers a perfect time to sign the official documents reestablishing our affiliation with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. We’re very excited for this opportunity.”

Graduates who would like to attend the Mass are asked to RSVP to Graham at (513) 863-3993, ext. 128, or by e-mail at [email protected], to confirm your plans. There will be special seating for grads.

Stephen T. Badin was the first priest ordained in the United States. He is known as the “Johnny Appleseed” of Catholicism in the Midwest, as he traveled on horseback in the first half of the 1800s through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan spreading the gospel. He had a parish on Front Street in Hamilton late in life.

Father Badin, who immigrated to the United States from France, died in 1853 at the age of 85 and is buried at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Both of Badin’s predecessor schools are still in use in Hamilton. The former Hamilton Catholic is now the headquarters of the Hamilton City School District on Dayton Street, and Notre Dame is now senior citizen housing across from St. Joseph’s School on Second Street.

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