On December 8, 1953, our parish received its name, Our Lady of Lourdes, from Archbishop Hurley. Father Michael
Kelly was appointed first pastor. The establishment of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish also meant the establishment of a
school with religious sisters as teachers and administrators. Archbishop Hurley paid many visits to Ireland in the early
fifties, inviting religious sisters and priests to come to Florida and preach the “Good News”. Through his invitation, in
August 1954, the Sisters of Mercy from the community in Navan made their way to Daytona Beach, an area very
different in culture and climate to the one they left. The founding Sisters of Mercy played an integral part in the
establishment of this great school. Throughout the sixties and seventies, they were the educators instilling in the
students strong moral values, discipline, and structure. In the early eighties, lay personnel became more involved as
the members of the Sisters of Mercy retired and left the area. We were blessed that in the nineties, a few sisters were
still part of our community. The Sisters of Mercy with their great vocation, dedication, and spiritual uplifting retired in
May of 2000.
Lourdes, the new school was ready for students and teachers. The Sisters went to live in a temporary home and were
able to move into their new convent in December 1961.
In 1980, a building was erected to house the cafeteria, art room, music room, and physical education locker room and
office. During the summer of 1997, the convent was renovated into our Early Childhood Center. The school was
granted its first accreditation in 1972, again in 1982, November 1989, February 1997, and March 2004. The location of
our school is in east central Florida, a beach resort with miles of hotels, motels, gift shops, and restaurants. The
majority of the community is either business owners who are self-employed or people who work in service-oriented
fields. The year-round residents number 350,000 and swell to 800,000 during peak tourist season. This unique resort
caters to different groups of people from family vacationers in the summer, professional car racers in February,
motorcyclists in October and March, college students in April, as well as the second home to many northerners during
the winter months. Income varies from lower class to middle-class with some upper-class citizens, thus forming a broad
socio-economic range. Retired senior citizens comprise a large segment of the population. The ethnic mix of our parish
is mostly Caucasian with a percentage of Asian and Hispanics.
The atmosphere at Our Lady of Lourdes School is one in which the faith dimension of the school flourishes. The
faculty and staff foster high expectations of Christian values. Our philosophy is to assist the parent in preparing the
child to develop as a witness to his/her Catholic faith by living according to Christian standards. We are commissioned
to demonstrate the message of the Gospel and the moral principles important in the growth of the Catholic faith. The
school’s relationships with supportive groups of the community such as the School Board of Our Lady of Lourdes, the
Parent Teach Organization, and the Parish Council are clearly defined for effective school management. Input from
persons involved in various groups prior to making significant decisions, which affect the school, is readily sought. The
roles and activities of all groups are clear and consistent with the mission of our school. On-going communication is
vital between the administrator and all groups within the school community.
The faculty and staff members, through their utmost dedication and varied contributions, continue to make Our Lady of
Lourdes Catholic School the great school it is today.