Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar

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Opening of MacKillop Park

The community of St Patrick’s Primary School in Lochinvar celebrated St Joseph’s day with the opening and blessing of MacKillop Park.  St Patrick’s is fortunate having such extensive grounds that they are able to set aside a large area for reflection. 

This passive reflective space is for all to enjoy.  There the young students can learn about by the life of St Mary MacKillop while absorbing the beauty of the natural world that surrounds them.

Mr Dennis Nolan, Acting Principal said MacKillop Park had been created as a tribute to the Sisters of St Joseph, a way of keeping alive the Josephite charism that has existed in Lochinvar for 140 years.  

Sr Carmel Hanson, Congregational Leader and former Principal at the school, prayed the blessing and then with one of the senior students cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the park.  A number of Sisters attended the ceremony as well as parents and the total school community.

A model of the first School founded by St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods in Penola in 1866 was built to commemorate the canonisation of Mary MacKillop.  It is now a feature in MacKillop Park. 

Eighteen beautiful plaques inscribed with quotes from the writings of St Mary and Father Woods are grouped in three stations around the park. 

We believe that God speaks to us in many different ways; one way is through people like St Mary and Father Woods.  We see such quotes as –

Find happiness in making others happy.   Mary 1899

Be a gift of love and compassion for one another.  Mary 1870

Living in harmony with nature and with God gives us full happiness and purpose. Julian 1877

Keep courage whatever you do. The best and strongest trees are the slowest growing. Julian 1875


Mr Nolan said that the school has plans to develop the park by adding plaques showing history of the Sisters and Aboriginal Stations of the Cross.