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Sisters of St Joseph

This Catholic religious order was founded in Penola, South Australia, in 1866 by Fr Julian Tenison Woods and Mother Mary MacKillop. Invited to Melbourne, MacKillop's birthplace, in 1890, the sisters became involved in child and female rescue and Catholic education. Their distinctive charisms of poverty and humility were particularly valued in poorer suburbs, but at their peak the sisters ran more than 40 schools across Melbourne. As numbers declined towards the end of the 20th century, the sisters withdrew from formal management roles in schools and agencies but remain as pastoral workers in many parishes.

Shurlee Swain

Ryan, Joan, A seed is sown: the history of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, 1890-1920, Advent Business Forms, Melbourne, 1992. Details