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Boylan, Columba (1847 - 1910)

11 June 1847
Killanaugh, Carbury, Ireland
3 May 1910
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Alternative Names
  • Mother Columba


Columba Boylan was orphaned as a baby and raised by a cousin until she was old enough to board at St Mary's, Cabra in Dublin. She enter the convent there in January or 1864, made profession in August 1869 and held the office of Mistress of Novices in the convent before emigrating to Australia to take charge of the Dominican order in Adelaide in early 1875. There she held the office of prioress for close to twenty years.

She arrived in Adelaide at a time when the Catholic Church in Adelaide was in some degree of disarray and her tenure coincided with a period of stability for that institution. She is credited with the consolidation and expansion of the Dominican Community's membership and its integration into the local church community. She was very important in the establishment of a viable Catholic school system in Adelaide.

Sources used to compile this entry: Northey, Helen, Living the truth : the Dominican Sisters in South Australia 1868-1958, Holy Cross Congregation of Dominican Sisters, Adelaide, 1999.

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Archival resources

Dominican Sisters of Cabra

Nikki Henningham

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