Where it all began
Downlands College is owned and conducted by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), alongside a committed group of teachers and support staff. The College was opened in 1931 as a boarding school for boys with a total enrolment of 68. Today, it is fully co-educational, with more than 850 day and boarding students from all parts of Queensland and beyond.
Downlands nurtures a strong religious spirit, marked by the Gospel values of FAITH and COMMUNITY. The College motto is Fortes in Fide, meaning Strong in Faith. Our faith is based on a belief that God loves every individual, regardless of talents or abilities, and that this makes everyone special. Community is that sense of identity which unites students, families and staff in Christ, as a special part of the family of God.
We value truth, learning and respect for the individual as essential features of the education process. In the search for truth, Downlands encourages students to integrate religious faith with life.
MSC History and Ethos
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are an Order of religious Priests and Brothers founded by Father Jules Chevalier at Issoudun, France, in 1854.
Jules Chevalier had a vision of a new world emerging and he wanted to make known the Gospel message of God's love and care for all men and women and to evoke a response in every human heart. He especially valued love, concern, compassion, understanding, respect and acceptance of every individual. His vision was based on the words of Jesus:
"I give you a new commandment, love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another. By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples." [John 13:34 ff]
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) believe that nothing is more important than the saving power of God's love. The MSC believe if people come to experience the love, gentleness, kindness and compassion of God, then they will have hope, meaning and purpose in their lives.
The initials MSC come from the Latin: Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis. The Priests and Brothers of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are known as MSC (from the Latin, Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis).
The history of the MSC is a unique one
When Fr Chevalier was assigned as curate in the parish of Issoudun, he looked for ways and means to bring to reality an idea that had already been conceived in his heart as a seminarian.
He wanted to found a missionary Society that would have as its purpose to bring God's compassionate and merciful love to human beings as the remedy for the evils that afflicted society.
He shared his idea with a companion of his from seminary days, Fr Maugenest, also now a curate at Issoudun. The latter received the idea with enthusiasm. But some of the members of the episcopal council expressed their opposition to his plan. In spite of this opposition, a succession of events, which the bishop considered "miraculous", ensured that his idea could be realised.
Fr Chevalier had promised the Blessed Virgin that, if she helped him, he would venerate her in a special way. The two curates began a novena to ask for Our Lady's light and help. The help that they required, the economic means to bring their plan to reality, were put into in their hands on the last day of the novena: a gift from an unknown benefactor.
It was the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1854, the day considered to be the foundation day of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The two curates were the first members of the new society. Fr Chevalier fulfilled his promise to Mary, honouring her with the title Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
To learn more about the MSC please click here to visit their website.
MSC at Downlands
Father Vince Carroll was appointed as the MSC presence at Downlands in January 2019.
Fr Vince hails from Taroom and was a boarder at Downlands (1953-56). He returned to the College as a teacher of Geography and Religious Education (1976-82) and as College Chaplain in 1993. More recently, Fr Vince worked in the MSC Mission in Ofcolaco South Africa. We are truly blessed to have Fr Vince amongst us at Downlands.
Mrs Anne McAttomney, Assistant Principal - Mission has been charged with maintaining the strong MSC presence at the College. Our commitment to education of the heart envelops everything we do at Downlands.