Mary MacKillop's daughters announce merger

Sr McGarry

The Sisters of St Joseph Perthville have received authorisation from the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to proceed with a merger with the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Congregational Leader, Sister Therese McGarry, said: 'We are thrilled to receive this news. It brings us another step forward in the process of "Strengthening Our Unity as Sisters of St Joseph".' 

Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart said: 'We are delighted that the Sisters of St Joseph Perthville and the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart will now be one again as we were when Mary MacKillop and Julian Woods first sent the Sisters to The Vale. Although our participation in the Mission of God asked that we journey separately for these 141 years, we are grateful to God to be together again.' 

'In practice, after the merger, the Perthville Congregation will cease to exist as a separate Institute. However, the Sisters will continue predominantly to live and minister within the Bathurst Diocese,' Sister Therese said. 'We are planning a celebration at Perthville on May 3 to mark this historic transition.'

The story of ‘separation and gradual re-union’ is one spanning 138 years. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart were the original group founded by Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods in Penola SA. Emanating from this group, the Perthville Community of Sisters became the first foundation made in New South Wales in 1872.

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Merging of Sisters of St Joseph

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