Catholic Cathedral College

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Catholic Cathedral College
62 Ferry Rd,
New Zealand
Coordinates 43°32′18″S 172°38′50″E / 43.5382°S 172.6473°E / -43.5382; 172.6473Coordinates: 43°32′18″S 172°38′50″E / 43.5382°S 172.6473°E / -43.5382; 172.6473
Type Integrated secondary (year 7–13) co-ed
Motto "To Live by Faith"
Established 1987; 30 years ago
Ministry of Education Institution no. 531
Principal Tony Shaw[1]
School roll 442[2] (February 2017)
Socio-economic decile 4J[3]

Catholic Cathedral College is an integrated Catholic co-educational secondary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was founded in 1987 but its origins go back to more than a 100 years earlier. The college is an amalgamation of two schools: Sacred Heart College for girls, and Xavier College for boys.


Sacred Heart was opened by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in 1881, although the Sisters had schools on the site from 1868. Xavier College was founded in 1946 and was operated by the Marist Brothers who had schools on the site from 1888. The college is located in central Christchurch, adjacent to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on the former sites of its predecessor colleges, which were adjoining. The convent building was occupied by the Christchurch Music Centre until it was demolished following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

The college does not have an enrolment scheme and can therefore accept pupils from all parts of Christchurch. The maximum roll is set at 880 students by agreement between the school's proprietor, the Catholic Bishop of Christchurch and the Government of New Zealand under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975. A standard provision of that Act is that 5% of students may be "non-preference" (i.e. non-Catholic). The College is also the only one of the five Catholic secondary schools situated in Christchurch, to be co-educational.

Earthquake problems[edit]

Because of the 2010 Canterbury earthquake (7.1 magnitude) which devastated much of the city, the college accommodated the entire primary school community of St Paul's School, Dallington for several months. But the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake (6.3 magnitude) caused far worse devastation to the city than the September 2010 earthquake. Parts of the college were under the unstable 400-ton dome of the Catholic Cathedral. Because the dome was in imminent danger of collapse, the college left the site and operated in the afternoons at St Thomas of Canterbury College. St Paul's School moved to a site which the Minister of Education made available.[4] The dome was removed on 26 July and the school moved back to its own site on 1 August 2011. However three buildings remained off limits.[5] Because of the effects of the earthquakes, Marian College, Christchurch was relocated to Catholic Cathedral College (which had enough surplus capacity to accommodate both schools in ordinary time) at the beginning of the 2012 school year for a period expected to be between two and four years.[6]

CCC Young Vinnies is a youth organisation part of Catholic Cathedral College, involving Year 7–13 students. In 2012 they donated 2012 cans of food for St Vincent de Paul Society. The motto that the group lives by is "Social Justice learning, Social Justice living".

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Otto, "Old boy principal comes home again", NZ Catholic, 10 March 2013, p. 4.
  2. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Media release, New Zealand Catholic Education office, March 2011 (retrieved 26 January 2012)
  5. ^ "Catholic Cathedral college to go home". The Press. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Report of the Christchurch Catholic Education Office to the Marian College community, 2 August 2012 (retrieved 26 January 2012)


  • Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, Sacred Heart College, St. Joseph’s School, centenary, 1868–1968 or Centenary, 1868–1968, Centenary Committee, Christchurch, 1968.
  • Pat Gallager, The Marist Brothers in New Zealand Fiji & Samoa 1876–1976, New Zealand Marist Brothers' Trust Board, Tuakau, 1976.
  • Michael O'Meeghan S.M., Held firm by faith : a history of the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, 1840–1987, Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, Christchurch, 1988.
  • Kevin Patrick Win Wanden, The Marist Brothers in Christchurch, 1888–1988, Marist Brothers Centennial Committee, Christchurch, 1988.
  • Michael King, God's farthest outpost : a history of Catholics in New Zealand, Viking, Auckland 1997.