The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of Saint Benedict was established in 1866. They are more commonly known as the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Prior to 1866 the Sisters were called the Good Shepherd Sisters but their title was changed to avoid confusion with an older Order of the same name that had recently arrived in Australia. The Sisters of the Good Samaritan ran many children's homes around Sydney.
As their numbers grew, the Good Samaritans extended their work to education and visiting the sick and the poor. They devoted themselves to the care of orphans and neglected children at the Parramatta Roman Catholic Orphan School, at the Industrial School and Orphanage at Manly and later at Narellan, near Camden. Sisters taught at a number of denominational schools in Sydney, as well as country towns such as Wollongong, Windsor, Braidwood, Queanbeyan, Moruya and Campbelltown.
In 1901, the resumption of land for the construction of Central Railway Station saw the Order move to Toxteth House at Glebe, where St Scholastica's Convent was established as their new mother house. The work of the Good Samaritans has spread interstate and overseas, and their work continues to the present. Their undertakings include education, liturgical and retreat centres, hospital chaplaincy, parish ministry and ministry to the aged, the sick and the dying, to young migrants, the handicapped, prisoners, homeless young people, Aboriginal Australians and outback families.
1857 - 1866 Good Shepherd Sisters
1866 - Sisters of the Good Samaritan
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Cleveland House', in State Heritage Register, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 1999-, http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritageapp/ViewHeritageItemDetails.aspx?ID=5045140; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Melissa Downing
Created: 7 March 2011, Last modified: 20 February 2015