Athol Murray College of Notre Dame

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"Notre Dame Hounds (minor)" redirects here. For the junior hockey team, see Notre Dame Hounds.
Athol Murray College of Notre Dame
Crest Notre Dame College.png
"Luctor et Emergo"
"Struggle and Emerge"
49 Main Street
Wilcox, Saskatchewan, S0G 5E0
Coordinates 50°05′56″N 104°43′12″W / 50.0988°N 104.7201°W / 50.0988; -104.7201Coordinates: 50°05′56″N 104°43′12″W / 50.0988°N 104.7201°W / 50.0988; -104.7201
School type Private, Day & Boarding
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic
Founded 1920
Grades 9-12, PG
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 350
Language English
Colour(s) Red and White         
Team name Hounds

Athol Murray College of Notre Dame is an independent, private, Catholic, coeducational school located in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was founded by the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis in 1920 as St. Augustine school when they established Notre Dame of the Prairies Convent. The school was later renamed to honor the contributions of Father Athol Murray. A noted, stained glass window honors 67 of the college's alumni who died in World War II.


In 1920, the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis opened the Notre Dame of the Prairies Convent and St. Augustine's residential elementary and high school for boys and girls at Wilcox, Saskatchewan; a small town on the Canadian prairies 49 kilometres (30 mi) south of Regina  – the provincial capital.

Father Athol Murray was appointed to St. Augustine's parish in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, in 1927. The institution's name was eventually changed to honour his contributions.

In the beginning, the College had no running water or central heat. In 1930, fees were $18 per month, but many students couldn't afford to pay. Père (Father) Murray accepted students on the basis that they desired an education, not on their ability to pay. A side of beef, a chicken, a bucket of coal and produce were often accepted instead of money. Students came from everywhere and from every type of social, cultural and religious background.

Murray was assisted by Sister Mary Edith McCullough. Her teaching career spanned 30 years at Wilcox. Sr. Edith ran the elementary and high schools while Père spent most of his time with the students in the Arts programs. In 1933, Père Murray succeeded in obtaining an official affiliation with the University of Ottawa.

Père Murray believed in the Greek philosophy of developing the mind, body and spirit and envisioned a school that could develop great scholars and athletes through equal emphasis on the disciplines of academics, athletics and faith. Notre Dame's longstanding success in developing well-balanced individuals is a testament to that vision.

Though Murray died in 1975, his legacy lives on. Père's beloved Notre Dame College continues to produce many of North America's finest student athletes through a balanced program that emphasizes the values of good character, leadership and community living. Père's motto "Luctor et Emergo" (Struggle and Emerge) is still reinforced today.

The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.[1] Dedicated to 67 Notre Dame College hounds who served and died during World War II; the stained glass window by Colonial Studios, Ottawa, circa 1948 depicts St. Augustine.[2]


In addition to its academic programs, the College has many sports teams that the students play on. The most notable are the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Notre Dame Hounds. There are also a number of minor hockey teams playing under the SHA banner. Notre Dame current fields three midget 'AAA' teams: two male teams (the Hounds and the Argos), and one female team (the Hounds). The midget 'AAA' program has won a total of five national championships: four on the male side and one on the female side.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards played together in the school's AAA Bantam program,[3] while numerous others have gone on to be drafted into the NHL.[4][5]

Notre Dame also runs high school athletics programs in rugby, lacrosse, football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and baseball.[6]

Notable alumni[edit]



The Hounds of Notre Dame have a rich history of music and have had a choir for many years. They also sing a "Prayer And Victory March" after every athletic competition. This song is derived partly from early Hounds and also contains the later part of the University of Notre Dame's fight song, due to the contributions toward Pere's Tower of God by a Notre Dame alumni.

The Prayer and Victory March[edit]

"Dear Notre Dame, We hail the Alma Mater. Thy loyal sons, Thy banners proudly bear. We pledge to thee, Our love and our devotion, We beg thee hear and grant our prayers. Oh guide our steps, And lead us safely onward, Through all the years, With love and care.

What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all, While her loyal sons are marching, Onward to victory, Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame, Wake up the echoes cheering her name, Send a volley, cheer on high, Shake down the thunder from the sky! What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all, While her loyal sons are marching Onward to victory, Notre Dame!"


  • Père Murray and the Hounds, the story of Saskatchewan's Notre Dame College, by Jack Gorman
  • Père - A Père Murray Compendium, include by Jack Gorman
  • Legacy . . . the treasures of Notre Dame, by Jack Gorman
  • The Hounds of Notre Dame - a movie based on the compelling story of Père Murray and the Hounds
  • Tales from the Shacks, by Richard Dukes
  • Notre Dame of the Prairies, by Alice Henderson
  • The Rink, by Chris Cuthbert and Scott Russell

External links[edit]