Who We Are

The Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart are women who continue God’s mission by immersing themselves in the midst of life to empower others for life and bring hope.

I have come that you may have life… Jn 10:10

Our Congregation, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, was founded in Penola, South Australia in 1866 by an Australian woman Mary MacKillop and an English priest Reverend Julian E Tenison Woods.

Mary and Julian began by responding to the need for education of children but soon perceived other needs.  The Sisters of Saint Joseph responded to those needs, and in the spirit of our Founders we continue to meet the needs of our time.

From the beginning Mary and Julian encouraged us to share the lives and the concerns of people with whom we minister.  Believing we are held in God’s hospitable heart, we respond to the needs of people living with violence, fear and insecurity as well as responding to the ordinary everyday occurrences in peoples’ lives.

We respond as ecclesial women in the spirit of Mary and Julian, living on the edges… as we continue to re-imagine the gospel of Jesus, the Christ. Ref 26th General Chapter, 2013

Trusting in God’s Providence we respond to the cry of the poor, hoping as we do so:

to nurture communion in relationships of compassion, justice and healing.      Ref 26th General Chapter, 2013

Today we live and minister throughout Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Peru, Timor Leste and Brazil.

The Administration of the Congregation is located at Mary MacKillop Place, Mount Street North Sydney. The tomb of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop is enshrined in the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel at North Sydney.


Page Last updated: June 2016