CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)--Notre Dame High School is proud to announce the return of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. The sisters return for the first time since 1973, and this homecoming coincides with their community's 150th anniversary.

  Richard F. Stika, Bishop of Knoxville,  hosted a welcome reception for Mother Ann Marie Karlovic, O.P., Prioress General of the St. Cecilia Congregation, during which she announced the assignment of 3 Dominican Sisters to Notre Dame for the 2010-2011 school year.

 In 1876, the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Community in Nashville founded Notre Dame. Notre Dame was the St. Cecilia community's first project outside of Nashville. The Dominican Sisters played a significant role in the early development of Chattanooga. They established a strong foundation for Notre Dame, and today the school remains the oldest non-public school in Chattanooga.

 The Dominican Congregation of St. Cecilia is comprised of over 230 sisters. Their order focuses on education and teaching. The sisters are highly qualified teachers; they each hold a minimum bachelor's degree. Forty-six percent of the sisters hold master's degrees and nine percent have doctoral degrees, with several sisters presently working towards completion of doctorates in various studies. The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia serve 18 dioceses across the United States and the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia.

 Notre Dame Principal Perry Storey said, "We are so blessed to have the sisters returning to Notre Dame.   Their work will not only impact Notre Dame, but the Tennessee Valley as well. The sisters have been stationed in all the major cities of Tennessee for years; their return to Chattanooga exemplifies the growth the city foresees."