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Clare honours 150 year Josephite tradition

Schools

Students, staff, families and the wider Sevenhill parish community gathered last month to reflect on the life and works of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop on the 150th annivesary of St Joseph’s School at Clare.

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Past Josephite principals and students joined with current students and staff to celebrate the sesquicentenary on August 8 (Mary MacKillop’s feast day).

During the day each class, some with their buddy classes, undertook an action in the local community which demonstrated the call of Mary MacKillop to ‘never see a need without doing something about it’.

Actions undertaken included thanking local businesses for the work they do in the community by presenting them with biscuits; singing to the residents of Kara House and Carinya aged care facilities; joining in a nature play session with children from the local Gums Child Care Centre; and providing a gift for Meals on Wheels recipients.

Guests were invited to undertake a tour of the school and then attended a special whole of school Mass. Sevenhill parish priest Fr Chris Jenkins SJ spoke to students about the many great works of Mary MacKillop and Sr Kerry Keenan introduced the Sisters of St Joseph who were present and shared the various roles these women had undertaken at the school over the years.

The Sisters of St Joseph arrived in Clare on June 10 1869 and began their connection with St Joseph’s School.

The school had actually first opened in 1849 with several lay people taking charge until the arrival of the Sisters.

The Josephites had a far reaching effect on education in the Clare Valley, establishing Catholic schools in a number of locations including Armagh, Sevenhill, Farrell Flat, Mintaro, Polish Hill River, Manoora, Marrabel, Auburn, Navan and Undalya. To commemorate the 150th year at St Joseph’s Clare it is hoped that markers will be placed at the known sites of these schools.

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