If I could be of service in any part of the world
The Catholic Church was emerging in the penal colony of Australia as a faith community of lay believers. The Australian bishops looked to Ireland for religious to teach in the schools they were establishing.
On Friday 20 July 1866 the first Presentation Sisters left their homeland, family and friends and set out from Fermoy, a town in the river Blackwater in east County Cork, to make the long journey to Tasmania, Australia. A group of four professed sisters and five postulants boarded ‘The Empress’ at Queenstown, Ireland, and arrived at Hobart three months later to open, at Richmond, the first Presentation convent and school in the Southern Hemisphere. From Limerick, Ireland, six sisters and a postulant arrived in Melbourne on 21 December 1873 to found a convent and school at St Kilda, the summer resort for the growing capital of the newly established colony of Victoria.
What do you think coming to Australia would have been like for the Presentation Sisters?