Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.

In March 1857, Father Julian Tenison Woods arrived in Robe on board the steamer SS Boomerang to take up his new position as parish priest of the south-eastern district of South Australia.

The parish covered 56,000 square kilometres of bushland, and Our Lady Star of the Sea Church was built in 1858 to host Mass and provide sparse lodgings for the travelling minister.

Father Woods had a vision of founding a religious order of women devoted to the education of disadvantaged children in this region, and his vision was realised when he cofounded the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Penola with his close friend Mary MacKillop.

The Josephite Sisters set up a school inside this church in 1868 and continued until 1882, living in the sacristy and teaching lessons in the body of the Church. Mary MacKillop was a source of strength and inspiration to her religious Sisters during her regular visits, and the Josephites quickly established themselves in the hearts of the local people.

Be inspired by Mary MacKillop's journey along the early path to sainthood

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