The Sisters of Charity celebrate 175 years of service

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The Sisters of Charity celebrate 175 years of service

The Sisters of Charity celebrated in Hobart last week to mark the milestone of 175 years of service.

The first religious sisters to come to Australia, the Sisters of Charity arrived in New South Wales in 1838, from Dublin.

In addition to their usual vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, the Sisters of Charity also took an extra vow of service to the poor which saw them earn the name of the ‘walking nuns’ due to their work on the streets with people in need.

The Sisters of Charity came to Tasmania in 1847 and worked in places including jails, asylums and the Female Factory.

They also have many other connections with the Tasmanian community including a history with St Joseph’s School in Hobart (and St Joseph’s Orphanage), St Joseph’s Child Care Centre in Taroona, St Francis Xavier’s School in South Hobart, Mount Carmel College in Sandy Bay, St Aloysius Catholic College at Kingston, St Brigid’s School in New Norfolk and St Vincent’s Hospital in Launceston.

Tasmanian Sister Josephine Cannell, who joined the Sisters of Charity in 1934 at the age of 16, said the anniversary celebrations had been a touching recognition of the community’s appreciation of the Sisters work and a great opportunity to reunite with people she had not seen since her school years.

“It was just wonderful,” Sr Josephine said.

Celebrations in Tasmania included a plaque unveiling at St Aloysius’ Catholic College, a tour of and assembly at Mount Carmel College and a visit to the graves of Tasmania’s first Sisters of Charity at Cornelian Bay Cemetery. A celebratory Mass was also held at St Joseph’s Church, Hobart.

For more photos please view our youtube clip here