|Named for:||St Mary MacKillop|
St Mary MacKillop was made Australia's first saint in 2010. She was truly an Aussie battler.
Mary was born in Melbourne on January 15, 1842. She was born into a poor family and from her early teens to her mid twenties she supported her family by working as a school teacher and governess.
With the help of Fr. Julian Tenison Woods, the Parish Priest of Penola in South Australia, she opened a school for children of the working class in a stable on March 19, 1866.
In 1867, she took her vows as a nun. Her group became known as the "Sisters of St. Joseph." Mary had a radical vision for her order and at one stage had to go to the Pope himself to secure the Constitution for her Sisters.
Mary and her Order pioneered schools in all parts of Australia and New Zealand. Her vision, courage, leadership and capacity to forgive others has become an inspiration to all Australians.
She died peacefully in Sydney in 1909.
|Named for:||Mother Columba Griffin|
Mother Mary Columba Griffin, was one of the first Sisters of Mercy to come to Townsville. Mother Columba had joined the Sisters of Mercy in Athy (Ireland) in 1865, and subsequently volunteered for "the Queensland mission". After a journey from Ireland to Brisbane on "The Golden Land", she joined the Sisters of Mercy, All Hallows' Convent, Brisbane, on 2nd January, 1868.
When the Sisters of St. Joseph withdrew from Townsville in March, 1878 the then Parish Priest of Townsville, Fr. William Mason Walsh, requested the Sisters of Mercy from All Hallow's in Brisbane to come to Townsville in their place. St Patrick's College Annual of 1968 records: "In 1968 Brisbane (Sisters of Mercy) established a branch Convent in Townsville to take the place of the Sisters of St. Joseph who were recalled to Sydney. Three Sisters, with Mother M. Columba Griffin in charge, arrived ...."
Mother Columba's stay in Townsville was a short one, returning, it seems, to St. Vincent's Home for Children at Nudgee, where she spent many years of her life. She died in Brisbane in 1919.