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Anne-Marie-JavouheyThe Congregation of Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny was founded in 1807 in Chalon, France. by Anne-Marie Javouhey who consecrated herself to God on November 11th, 1798 during a clandestine Mass which had to be celebrated in a barn in Chamblanc. Anne-Marie Javouhey set out from this day to overcome any problems which came in her way. She was the woman who dared:

  • To stand as counter witness to the spirit of the age.
  • To search for God's Will for her in the challenge of her day.
  • To risk everything in complete confidence in order to announce Jesus Christ.
  • To believe in the dignity of the poorest and work to promote freedom from oppression.

This spirit she left to her Sisters to inspire them to serve the Church and the world today.


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1904 to 1913

Although many sisters passed by Australia en route to Tahiti, Rarotonga and Fiji since 1848, it was not until 1904 that the Sisters made a community in Australia. In 1903, the French Government passed Laicisation Laws, which enforced the closing of the novitiate in New Caledonia. The sisters came to Ballarat, and stayed with the Sisters of Mercy while obtaining Victorian teaching registration.

Brought from South America and planted in the motherhouse grounds. Firmly rooted in the fertile earth, exposed to sun and wind, the gingko has flourised for 150 years.