Catholic Education Remembers its Beginnings in Queensland


A wall display depicting every Catholic Religious Institute to have operated schools in Queensland will be blessed and celebrated at the Queensland Catholic Education Commission tomorrow (Tuesday 29 July).

Three plaques record the first school and its Principal opened by the 29 different Institutes of Sisters, Brothers and Priests that have operated Catholic schools in Queensland since the Sisters of Mercy were the first to arrive in 1861.

QCEC Executive Director Mike Byrne said it was important to perpetuate the stories of the Religious Institutes that had selflessly committed themselves to providing an education in the Catholic tradition for hundreds of thousands of young Queenslanders.

“In establishing schools around the State, often teaching in difficult conditions and with few resources, the members of the Religious Institutes showed incredible courage, determination and a deep commitment to both their faith and Queensland families,” he said.

“This display is a small way of paying tribute to their enormous contribution and providing an ongoing reminder of the rich foundations of the Catholic education system we see in Queensland today.

“We hope that the courage, love and sacrifice made by the members of the Religious Institutes will continue to bear fruit through all who now follow in their footsteps in the Catholic schools of Queensland.

“It is also fitting that this blessing ceremony occurs during Catholic Education Week 2014 with its theme ‘Come, live life in all its fullness’,” Mike Byrne said.

Most Reverend Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane will conduct the blessing ceremony and many of the 29 Religious Institutes will be represented on the occasion.

The display project was initiated by QCEC in 2013 as part of the 50th anniversary of Catholic Religious Australia, Queensland (CRAqld).

In 2014 there are 296 Catholic schools in Queensland educating 143,000 or around 20% of Queensland children and employing more than 17,000 teachers and staff.

Please see below a list of all 29 Religious Institutes to have operated Catholic schools in Queensland and the years they commenced. Photos of the plaques are attached.

29 Religious Institutes that have established Catholic Schools in Queensland

 Sisters of Mercy Brisbane  1861 
 Sisters of St Joseph   1870
 Sisters of Mercy Rockhampton  1873
 Christian Brothers  1875
 Sisters of Mercy Townsville  1879
 Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart  1887
 Sisters of Mercy Cairns   1888
 Presentation Sisters  1900
 Good Samaritan Sisters   1900
 Society of the Sacred Heart   1917 
 Ursulines of the Roman Union   1919
 Sisters of Charity  1925
 Loreto Sisters  1928
 Marist Brothers  1928
 Brigidine Sisters  1928
 Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception  1930
 Missionaries of the Sacred Heart  1931
 De La Salle Brothers  1932
 Sisters of Our Lady Help of Christians  1934
 Franciscan Missionaries of Mary  1945 
 Augustinians - Order of St Augustine  1948
 Canossian Sisters  1951
 Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth  1953
 Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and Solomon Islands 1954
 Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters  1954
 Franciscan Friars  1956
 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate   1958
 Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul  1959
 Marist Sisters 1971