Saint Mary Mackillop

Updated: 9/10/2020
Saint Mary Mackillop

Storyboard Text

  • Regardless of the religious affiliation of the students, her order accepted no money from the government, remaining open to all and accepting only what tuition parents could afford, at a time when the government still provided funding to religious schools.
  • MacKillop intended that the order be self-governed and devoted to teaching and charity.
  • Some Australian priests and bishops were openly hostile both to the degree of autonomy that the Josephites enjoyed and to Mary MacKillop’s rejection of federal funding.
  • MacKillop expanded the order’s educational and charitable endeavours and attracted new sisters. In 1875 she was appointed superior general of the order.
  • A young priest, Father Julian Tenison Woods, encouraged her to continue this work, assuring her that educating the poor would be an ideal way to serve God.
  • In 1866 MacKillop and Woods founded Australia’s first order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
  • In 1867 MacKillop took vows and became the first mother superior of the sisters. The following year the sisters opened schools in other Australian cities, as well as an orphanage and a refuge for women released from prison.