Sisters of St Joseph: The Tasmanian experience: The foundation of the Sisters of St Joseph in Tasmania 1887-1937


Brady, Josephine Margaret. (2004). Sisters of St Joseph: The Tasmanian experience: The foundation of the Sisters of St Joseph in Tasmania 1887-1937 [Thesis].
AuthorsBrady, Josephine Margaret
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

This thesis reports on and analyses the first fifty years, 1887-1937, of the Sisters of Saint Joseph's ministry in Tasmania. The design of the study is qualitative in nature, employing ethnographic techniques with a thematic approach to the narrative. Through a multifaceted approach the main figures of the Josephite story of the first fifty years are examined. The thesis attempts to redress the imbalance of the representation of women in Australian history and the Catholic Church in particular. The thesis is that as a uniquely Australian congregation the Tasmanian Sisters of St Joseph were focused on the preservation of the original spirit and tradition articulated at their foundation rather than on the development of a unique Tasmanian identity. The thesis argues that it was the formative period that impacted on their future development and the emerging myths contributed to their search for identity. Isolated from their foundations through separation and misunderstanding, they sought security and authenticity through their conservation of the original Rule. The intervention of cofounder Father Tenison Woods in the early months of their foundation served to consolidate a distinctive loyalty to him to the exclusion of Mary MacKillop. Coupled with the influence of Woods were the Irish and intercolonial influences of significant Sisters from other foundations which militated against the emergence of a distinctive Tasmanian leadership. As a Diocesan Congregation the Tasmanian Josephites achieved status as authentic religious within Tasmania and yet were constrained by their Diocesan character. The study identifies the factors that contributed to their development as a teaching Congregation through the impact of the Teacher and Schools' Registration Act 1906, influence of government regulations on the Woods-MacKillop style of education, and the commitment of the Church to provide Catholic education in the remote areas of Tasmania.;The thesis identifies two major formative periods as occurring at the instigation of Archbishops Delany and Simonds at both the foundation and then more significantly after the consolidation phase at the end of the period under examination.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Religious Education
Final version
Publication dates01 Jan 2004
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