• Call Nouvel Catholic Central Elementary School – 989.792.2361 - Visit NCCE's Site

Call Nouvel Catholic Central High School – 989.791.4330 - Visit NCCHS's Site


Nouvel Catholic Central

Nouvel Catholic Central was named for Father Henri Nouvel, the Jesuit missionary priest who celebrated the first Mass to take place in the interior of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula on the banks of the Saginaw River. It was during the wintery month of November 1675 that Father Nouvel set out from St. Ignace on a nearly month-long journey by canoe to the Saginaw Bay. He paddled through fog, rain and ice-encrusted water, but eventually made it to the mouth of the Saginaw River. On December 3, the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier, Father Nouvel celebrated the first Mass in the interior of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. His visit to Saginaw is considered so significant that in 1952 the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw erected a marker on Ojibway Island to commemorate the event. When you visit Ojibway Island today, look for the marker in memory of Father Henri Nouvel.

Nearly two centuries after Father Nouvel’s visit to Saginaw the first Catholic high school came into existence, St. Mary High School in 1868. By the mid-1960s, Saginaw was home to nine Catholic high schools, eight of which were still in operation. The nine schools were: St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Andrew, SS. Peter & Paul, Holy Family, Sacred Heart, Holy Rosary, St. Paul Seminary and St. Stephen. Great population shifts led to declining enrollment, and by the early 1980s, only three high schools remained in operation. A prudent but nonetheless painful decision was made by the Diocese of Saginaw to merge the three remaining high schools, St. Mary, SS. Peter & Paul and St. Stephen, into one. Nouvel Catholic Central High School opened its doors in the fall of 1984.

Many parents or grandparents of Nouvel students are graduates of one of the nine former high schools. The school follows the path of its Legacy Schools toward the future; continuing the mission of forming young people as disciples of Jesus Christ. Nouvel is proud of the rich heritage and legacy of faith inherited from the Legacy Schools. The past truly illuminates the future.

The Legacy Schools

The history of Catholic schools in Saginaw dates back to 1868, but only in recent years have the schools joined together as a single system. Saginaw Area Catholic Schools formed in 2006, bringing St. Helen School, Ss. Peter & Paul School, St. Stephen School, St. Thomas Aquinas School and Nouvel Catholic Central High School under one umbrella. In March of 2010, the four parish elementary/middle schools were consolidated into two: St. Stephen School and St. Thomas Aquinas School.

Beginning in fall 2014, the schools of St. Stephen and St. Thomas Aquinas merged to form Nouvel Catholic Central Elementary for students per-kindergarten through 8th grade. Brought together to secure the future of Catholic education in the community and provide a sustainable financial model while maintaining a tradition of excellence in academics, arts and athletics. Governance is by a Board of Trustees under the Vicar of Education, Father Robert H. Byrne, and Bishop Joseph R. Cistone.

Saginaw Catholic Schools Hall of Fame

          St. Mary High School
Opened 1878: consolidated 1984 (Nouvel)
School colors: Red and White
Mascot: The Raiders (Red Raiders)
School Song: "Bells of St. Mary's" 
    St. Joseph High School
Opened 1896: closed 1971
School colors: Blue and Gold
Mascot: Buccaneers
School Song: "Notre Dame Victory March" 
    St. Andrew High School
Opened 1909: closed 1969
School colors: Black and Orange
Mascot: Bulldogs
School Song: "Notre Dame Victory March" 
    Ss. Peter & Paul High School
Opened 1910: consolidated 1984 (Nouvel)
School colors: Red and White (after 1946), Blue and Silver (prior to 1946)
Mascot: Crusaders (after 1961), Midgets (prior to 1961)
School Song: "Notre Dame Victory March"
  Holy Family High School
Opened 1923: closed 1957
School colors: Blue and White
Mascot: Blue Jackets
  Sacred Heart High School
Opened 1949: merged with St. Joseph High School 1965
School colors: Red and White
Mascot: Cardinals
  Holy Rosary High School
Opened 1949: closed 1969
School colors: Blue and Grey
Mascot: Greyhounds
School Song: "Notre Dame Victory March"
  St. Paul Seminary
Opened 1960: closed 1970
The six-year, 192 student-capacity, secondary and junior college boarding school was built to educate young men as possible candidates for the priesthood.
Click here to read related Faith Magazine article
  St. Stephen High School
Opened 1963: consolidated 1984 (Nouvel)
Colors: Green and Gold

Nouvel Catholic Central High School
Opened 1984
School Colors: Blue and Silver
Mascot: Panthers
School Song: "Notre Dame Victory March"






Nouvel Catholic
Central Schools

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Catholicism is a deep matter; you cannot take it up in a tea-cup.

– Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman