The Sisters' 'rule of life', as related by historian, Sister Marie Louise Foale, stipulated that:
'...the members of the new Order were to be ordinary women who lived in small groups among the people, with no visible means of support. They were to teach poor children and manage charitable institutions for destitute and otherwise socially disadvantaged people, especially women and children.'
Foale also describes the Sisters 'frugal' lifestyle and their willingness to work long hours in 'trying conditions' in their service of those in need.
By June 1868, the Sisters of St Joseph were managing three charitable institutions in South Australia, St. Joseph's Refuge, St. Vincent de Paul's Orphanage and St. Joseph's House of Providence. In these places, they provided residential care for orphans and deserted children, homeless and destitute women of all ages. They also exerted pressure on the government for the rights of deprived children.
In 1889 the Sisters of St Joseph, at the order of Bishop Reynolds, were replaced at St Vincent de Paul's Orphanage by the Sisters of Mercy. However, in 1903 the Sisters opened a second orphanage, St Joseph's Orphanage at Largs Bay.
The Sisters of St Joseph also ran the Catholic Girls' Reformatory in Kapunda and the Catholic Girls' Home at Parkside.
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The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
02 January 2019
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/sa/SE00022
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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