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Pioneer commemoration

BRISBANE’S Sisters of Mercy are holding an exhibition called “Women Making History: Sisters of Mercy in Queensland 1861-1901” as a prelude to the opening of the order’s new heritage centre.

The exhibition is being held on the All Hallows’ Convent site.

It commemorates the lives and work of the pioneering sisters of the Brisbane congregation from their arrival until 1901.

The early congregation was challenged by sectarianism, crushing financial problems, a domineering bishop, isolation and often primitive conditions, leading to the deaths of many before their time.

By 1901, however, the sisters had established a presence in 26 towns as far apart as Roma, Charters Towers, Townsville and Southport. They also had established 22 schools and four welfare institutions, and their numbers had grown to 200.

The exhibition at the convent, in Ann St, Brisbane, was officially opened on May 10 by the congregation’s leader, Sr Pauline Burke. It had its first showing on May 11. Future showings will be on May 28 and June 4, from 1pm-4pm.

Written by: Staff writers
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