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MacKillop, Mary Helen (1842 - 1909)

15 January 1842
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
8 August 1909
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Religious Sister


Mary Mackillop was appointed head of the Penola Catholic School in 1866. In March of that year she was formally committed into the Institute of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. In 1871, almost half the members of the Institute were dismissed by Bishop Sheil, and Mackillop was excommunicated for alleged insubordination. The excommunication was lifted as early as February 1872, when she was reinstated as superior of the Institute. She was elected superior general under the new Roman Constitutions in 1875. Mackillop founded a teacher training centre for the Institute in Sydney in 1888, enabling it to become a leader in Catholic education.

Sources used to compile this entry: Thorpe, Osmund, 'MacKillop, Mary Helen (1842-1919)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

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