Celebrating 100 years of Catholic education in Gloucester

As part of the Catholic Schools Week celebrations, St Joseph’s Primary School, Gloucester commemorated 100 years since the arrival of the Sisters of St Joseph and the start of Catholic education in Gloucester.

The celebrations to contribution of the Sisters of St Joseph to both the school and community involved principals, teacher, families and friends from the school community and beyond.

The day began with a celebration Mass which was coordinated by Bronwyn Underwood, Principal at St Joseph’s and Lee Sullivan, Religious Education Coordinator at St Joseph’s.

Students from St Joseph’s took in the service and led the Mass in song.

After the service there was a light lunch at which visitors gathered, with many taking trips down memory lane.

The connection that the Sisters of St Joseph have with Gloucester dates back to 1919 when it was part of the Parish of Dungog.  

A new brick convent - built for the Sisters – was officially opened and blessed on 26 January 1919.

School lessons then started the very next day for 58 pupils. The founding Sisters were Sisters Mary Brigid, Mary James and Mary Bernadine.

In 1953, a new brick church/school was blessed and opened with the building was divided into classrooms – each with school desks and furniture.

In 1964, a weatherboard classroom was built for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

A new brick school, consisting of three classrooms and an office/storeroom space, was built, opened and blessed by Bishop Toohey in 1969. For first time classes were taught out of the Church.

“Over the past 100 years Sisters of St Joseph, lay teachers and all support staff have endeavoured to help each child grow to his or her full potential by developing the child’s capabilities, spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and culturally,” said Sarah Fulton.

Sarah’s family members have a long history of both working at and attending St Joseph’s. They also helped organised the event along with her mother, Barbara Mansfield.

“A beautiful environment and commitment to the care and learning of every child distinguishes St. Joseph’s as a school community,” she said.


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