The Original Rule 1867

Rules of the Institute of St. Joseph for the Catholic Education of Poor Children.

The name of this document below, as printed in 1868, is Rules of the Institute of St. Joseph for the Catholic Education of Poor Children [1] and not, as is commonly used today “The Original Rule.” This title indicates clearly the principal purpose of the Institute. One does not need to read far, however, before it becomes clear that Father Woods was also aware of the plight of many of the older South Australians of his day. In fact, very near to the conclusion of this document he wrote:

The religious must do any good that they can and make their charity all-embracing. [2]Father Julian Tenison Woods

Today we are being called to: “Go and do the same”

It is well worth reading for, despite its having been written in the style of the day and done in haste, it contains many gems that are relevant for us today. Let us, then, once more answer the call of Vatican II and immerse ourselves in the spirit of our founders by reading and reflecting on this document that comes from the pen of the man to whom Mary MacKillop always referred as “Our dear Father Founder.” [3]

Sr Marie Foale

The Original Rule 1867 (PDF)

[1] Julian E.T. Woods, “Rules of the Institute of St Joseph for the Catholic Education of Poor Children,” Article 1, December 1867, in Resource Material from the Archives of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Issue No. 3, Sesquicentenary Edition, December 2016, p. 1
[2] JET Woods, Rules, Article 13.
[3] Mary MacKillop to the Sisters, 28 October 1889, 12 March 1899, 11 March 1901, and many more.