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St. Ildephonsus' College, New Norcia 1913-1964: An educational, religious and social history

Braniff, Brother Valerian (1984) St. Ildephonsus' College, New Norcia 1913-1964: An educational, religious and social history. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis traces the history of St. Ildephonsus' College, New Norcia, a Catholic boys' boarding school built by the Benedictine Monks of New Norcia in 1912 and run by the Marist Brothers for the fifty one years 1913 to 1964.

In many respects St. Ildephonsus' was typical of Catholic schools of that era: single sex, religious staff, exam oriented curriculum etc. Because of its location in the Benedictine settlement, its isolation and the interplay of the two religious orders involved, it was to some extent also unique. In Catholic circles in Western Australia, St. Ildephonsus' had a special aura or reputation; but as a pure example of a pre Vatican II, pre State Aid Catholic school it has some interest for the general student of Australian education and of Western Australian history.

The basic outline of the history is chronological and deals with the school itself; but an attempt is made at all times to treat the details thematically and to place the school's life in the wider context of Marist, Catholic and Australian Educational developments and also in the perspective of Western Australian social and economic history.

The three shorter interacting chapters lead into a series of five longer chapters each of which deal with approximately a decade of the school's history. This chronological sequence is broken after Chapter 4 by a chapter describing the relations between the Marist brothers and the Benedictines and after Chapter 7 by a chapter analysing the contribution and the life style of the brothers. The final chapter surveys the philosophical statements about the school and draws the conclusion that there was very little conscious philosophical definition but that rather the Catholicity and the educational character of the school were to a large extent established and guaranteed by the communal commitment and the personalities of the brothers involved.

Written sources for the work were barely adequate rather than plentiful but these have been eked out by recorded interviews with some surviving ex-students and teachers. Sources are listed, in more detail in the bibliography.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Hill, Brian
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