History and Information
In 2004 Notre Dame Academy was formed by combining St. Helen, St. Denis and St. Lawrence schools. Currently, the school boasts over 300 families and around 430 students.
St. Helen History - In 1897, St. Helen was established. That same year the first rectory and school were built. Part of the school served as the church. Five years later, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville were traveling by streetcar and railroad daily to teach. In 1912, a convent was provided. In 1923, this convent was sold and the original old frame schoolhouse was converted into a convent. The brick school that currently resides on site was built at this time. In 2004, St. Helen joined with St. Lawrence and St. Denis to form Notre Dame Academy.
St. Denis History - In 1916, the few families residing along the Ohio River southwest of Louisville would make the trip to either St. Peter Church or St. Helen Church in Shively. That July, they made the first moves to establish their own parish for this part of town. It was started by about 37 families who erected a little frame church and pastoral residence. In January of 1917, the school opened and was entrusted to the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph. The parish and school boomed during the 1st World War and the school had to be expanded several times. In 2004, St. Denis closed and joined with St. Helen and St. Lawrence to form Notre Dame Academy.
St. Lawrence History - The territory of St. Lawrence parish was actually carved from St. Helen parish. In 1953, St. Lawrence was already established and mass was being held at Alice Waller school on Dixie. By the time of the ground breaking in 1955 the original 45 families making St. Helen had grown to 420. The school opened the fall of this same year and was staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (and later by the Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph). While the original buildings remain, many additions and renovations have taken place to accomodate the growing parish and school. In 2004, St. Lawrence joined with St. Helen and St. Denis to create Notre Dame Academy. NDA is located at the St. Lawrence campus.