> Woods-MacKillop School House

Woods MacKillop Schoolhouse.

Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods were deeply committed to the education of all children, regardless of wealth and social standing.

When their classes outgrew a small cottage, St Joseph's Church and a stable, this purpose-built school building was constructed. Work began in October 1866 and was completed in May 1867, with the building's simplicity reflecting the commitment of the Josephite Order to a life of humility and poverty.

Within weeks of the schoolhouse opening, Mary MacKillop boarded the steamship SS Penola for the journey to Adelaide, where she went on to establish the Cathedral Hall School and took her formal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The Sisters of St Joseph continued her work in Penola, teaching and living in this schoolhouse off and on up until 1889.

When the new St Joseph's School (now the Mary MacKillop Memorial School) opened in 1936, the schoolhouse became a parish hall. In 1989, following a lengthy restoration process, it was rededicated as the Woods-MacKillop Schoolhouse by Archbishop Faulkner. The heritage-listed building now operates as a museum.

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

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