Immaculata Academy

For the Catholics of Newport there remains the memory of a flourishing institution, Immaculata Academy on Fifth Street, conducted by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. For seventy-five years (1857-1932), it was a forceful factor in the development of Catholicity in that city, guiding the education of many Catholics of Newport from the early part of the episcopate of Bishop Carrell down to about the middle of the episcopate of Bishop Howard.

As was true of Nazareth's other institutions in the Diocese, the establishment of Immaculata Academy in Newport was the result of the zeal of Religious, who were admirable as administrators and teachers. Immaculata Academy was opened in the fall of 1857. In that year Sisters began travelling back and forth from Covington to Newport. Among the valiant band of pioneer Sisters who under trying circumstances began the Academy in Newport were Sister Euphrasia, the first Superior, Sister Mary Magdalen, Sister Angela and Sister Camilla.

The Sisters did not have a permanent home in Newport until seven years after the establishment of the Academy. In 1858 Sister Mary David Wagner became Superior of Immaculata Academy, holding that office for twenty-two years (1858-1880). Her distinguished intellectual and executive ability brought a stability and prestige to Immaculata Academy. Sister Mary David was in charge of Immaculata when the first Sisters' home and new school were erected in 1864. Because of the small piece of property at the disposal of the Sisters, it was necessary to erect a building of unusual height, the building becoming popularly known as "David's Tower."

The administration of Sister Constance Davis began in September, 1886, and continued for the next twenty-four years (1886-1910). When Sister Constance began her term of office in Newport, Immaculata Academy was experiencing the same problem facing La Salette in Covington. For the accomplishment of the good to which the Sisters aspired, more modernly equipped academies were needed. Generous benefactors of Immaculata Academy at that time were Mr. and Mrs. M. V. Daly, parents of Mrs. Peter O'Shaughnessy.

Twelve years later the Academy was the recipient of additional property, which assured its success and offered unusual facilities. When Mr. M. V. Daly died in 1898, the beautiful Daly residence was bequeathed to his daughter, Mrs. Peter O'Shaughnessy. She and her husband thereupon by a fee-simple made the Daly property over to the Sisters of the Immaculata Academy. In 1901 another valuable addition was made to the Sisters' property and residence, which adjoined the Daly property and which served as an ideal convent for the Sisters.

When the Academy celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1907, the institution was prosperously established, having attained a recognized high degree of efficiency and stability. Its Alumnae Association, affiliated with the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae, included outstanding Catholic women of Newport. For a number of years several of the Sisters from Immaculata Academy traveled daily to Bellevue to teach at St. Anthony Parish School until 1913, when Reverend Frank Kehoe built a home for them conveniently located near the school.

After seventy-five years of service to Catholic education in Newport, Immaculata Academy was discontinued in 1932. The history of that institution again became linked with La Salette, as many of the students entered classes in the Covington Academy. The Alumnae Association of Immaculata Academy became affiliated with that of La Salette.


excerpted fromĀ History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953, by Rev. Paul E. Ryan