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Kildare Catholic College performing arts students recounted the journey of the five founding Presentation Sisters from Ireland to Wagga Wagga (Wagga Wagga Diocese)

Nine schools have celebrated the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Presentation Sisters in the Wagga Wagga Diocese.

On Friday, May 31, staff and students from Presentation heritage schools came together to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the Presentation Sisters’ arrival in Wagga Wagga to honour 150 years of their dedication, faith, and service to the education communities they founded.

At the invitation of Bishop William Lanigan, five Irish Sisters arrived in Wagga Wagga on May 29, 1874, to take up temporary accommodation in the vacated presbytery in Church St and open their first school in the stables the very next day.

Presentation Sisters congregational leader Sr Margaret Barclay said that during that time, the Sisters’ main focus was on teaching.

“The Sisters taught children and adults; however, the Sisters were available to people living in poverty around them to provide whatever support they could offer,” Sr Margaret said.

“After two-and-a-half years of teaching and working in the community, Mount Erin Convent was built by the Catholic community, and the Sisters and school relocated to that site.”

Today that school is known as Kildare Catholic College, situated in Coleman Street, Wagga Wagga.

Sr Margaret also said between 1874 and 1986, 250 Sisters responded to invitations to go to parishes to provide primary and secondary education.

“From our convent in Wagga Wagga, our Sisters went out to Victoria, Hay, Young, Queensland, Western Australia, the ACT and communities other across the Riverina and Sydney, to provide education in those communities.”

The 150th anniversary celebrations included a liturgy led by Wagga Wagga Bishop Mark Edwards, a performance by Kildare College performing arts students re-enacting the Sisters journey from Ireland to Wagga Wagga and a tree-planting ceremony. 


Schools celebrate 150 years of the Presentations Sisters in Wagga Wagga (Wagga Wagga Diocese)