THE SISTERS OF THE ORDER OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (from Wagga)
BERRIGAN 1904 -2004
Opening of St. Columba's Church - Berrigan
First resident Priest - Fr. Jerome Hennessy
Building of the Presbytery & School
Foundation Stone for Convent was laid and blessed by Rt. Rev. J. Gallagher, D.D. Bishop of Goulburn on 14th December 1904
Presentation Sisters arrived on 30th September 1904
Convent was opened and blessed by Rt. Rev. J. Gallagher, Bishop of Goulburn, on 2nd October 1904
St. Columba's School (brick structure) was blessed and opened by Rt. Rev. J. Gallagher, D.D. on 28th November 1909
Foundation stone for St. Brendan's, Savernake was laid by Rt. Rev. J. Gallagher, D.D. on 22nd October 1911
Consecration of St. Brendan's by Rt. Rev. J. Gallagher, D.D. on 18th November 1912
Bishop J. Dwyer consecrated as the first Bishop of the Diocese Wagga Wagga on 13th October 1918
Extensions to the Convent as a Jubilee Gift.
Blessing and opening of St. Columba's Church by Bishop Henschke on 19th July 1967 - Fr. R. O'Donovan P.P.
Closure of Secondary School
Sale of St. Columba's Hall in Chanter St
Refurbished of old Church for Parish and School use
Staff room and Principal's office built
Sr. Clare O'Reilly retired as School Principal Sr. Margaret Walsh appointed Parish Pastoral Associate
Mr. Michael Jones was appointed Principal of School 75th Jubilee of Presentation Sisters' work in Berrigan
Fr. J. A. McGrath, Episcopal Vicar for Education, Principal Celebrant at Mass - Fr. A. Loth P.P.
Convent Chapel refurbished.
Sr. Margaret Barclay appointed Parish Pastoral Associate
Presentation Sisters farewelled from Berrigan - 10th December
Bishop W. Brennan, Principal Celebrant at Mass. Fr. R. Fitzgerald P.P. Srs. Clare Gaynor, Pascal Hayes and Leo Kennedy were the last members of the Berrigan community
The Convent was rented
Sr. Clare Gaynor commenced her rural ministry in Berrigan
Centenary celebrations of St. Columba's Church - 15th & 16th October 1994. Bishop W. Brennan was Principal Celebrant at Mass. Fr. J.H. McGrath P.P.2003Sr. Clare Gaynor concludes her work in Berrigan
Centenary celebrations of the arrival of Presentation Sisters in Berrigan - 12th September 2004. Fr J.H. McGrath P.P. was Principal Celebrant at Mass. Sr. Maureen Watson, Congregational Leader
The Convent was sold.
THE SISTERS OF THE ORDER OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (from Wagga)
Serving in Berrigan 1904 to 2004
SurnameReligious NameYearFogartySr. M. Alacoque (Superior)1904CunninghamSr. M. Aquinas1904KerriganSr. M. Catherine1904McMahonSr. M. Patrick1904SweeneySr. M. Anthony1904SurnameReligious NameYearArmstrongSr. Mary1930's or 40'sBarclaySr. Margaret1982 - 1984BarrySr. M. Ursula (Patti)1965BazSr. M. Immaculata (Judith)1964 - 1965BennettSr. M. Donatus (Rosslyn)1973BobergSr. M. Julian1966BradfordSr. M. Genevieve1950 - 1951BryanSr. M. Carmel (Kaye)1964BurkeSr. M. Gabriel (Heather)1961ByattSr. M. de Porres1960 - 1963CameronSr. M Dominic (Angela)1965CollinsSr. M. Columba1920's / 1930'sCollinsSr. M. Agatha1909CondonSr. M. Loyola1940CooneySr. M. Fabian1969 - 1971CreedeSr. Gerard (Bernadette)1952 - 1954CrilleySr. M. Helen (Lynne)1969 - 1972CroninSr. M. Patricia1934 - 1937; 1945 - 1947; 1952 - 1953CroweSr. M. AngelaPre 1930CunneenSr. M. Helen1969 - 1970DarbySr. M. Basil1954 - 1956DaySr. M. Baptist1938DeeganSr. M. Francis1931DengateSr. Frances May1975 -1976DowneySr. M. Josephine1938 -1943DuffySr. M. PhilomenaPre 1920DunneSr. M. Brendan1926DunneSr. M. Monica1966 -1968DwyerSr. M Francesca1974 - 1982EnglishSr. M. de Chantal1938 -1941FarrellySr. M. Kieran1956FitzpatrickSr. M. Kostka1942 -1944FrySr. M. Bernardine1937 - 1939GleesonSr. M. PatrickPre 1930GrahamSr. M. Hilary1948; 1957 - 1959GriffinSr. M. Helen1933 - 1939; 1946 - 1947; 1954 - 1956HallamSr. M. Barbara1966 - 1968HawkinsSr. M. Chanel1946 - 1949HayesSr. M. Raphael1957 - 1960HayesSr. M. Paschal1963 - 1965; 1974; 1985 - 1989HortonSr. M Frances1980IvorySr. M. Finbarr1920'sKeaneSr. M. Joachim (Beryl)1943 -1945; 1967 - 1968; 1974KelleherSr. M. Rita1934 - 1935KellySr. M. MagdalenPre 1930KennedySr. Leo1984 - 1989KeoghSr. M. Eulalie1930; 1939 - 1941; 1957 - 1959MaloneySr. M. Dolores1960McCarthySr. M. Campion1957 - 1959; 1983McCroneSr. M. Paul1950McCroneSr. Louie1979 - 1980McCroneSr. M. Carmel1932 - 1933McGilllickSr. M. Anthony1938 - 1949MolloySr. M. Ignatius1930 - 1932; 1948 - 1950MolloySr. M. Oliver1930 - 1937MoncktonSr. M. GonzagaPre 1930; 1940 - 1941; 1951 - 1953MooreSr. M Lawrence1939 - 1945MoroneySr. M. Camillus1953 - 1959MulhallSr. M. Augustine1918O'BrienSr. M. Regis1914 -1916O'ConnorSr. M. Imelda1946 - 1949O'ConnorSr. M. Benedict1912 - 1914; 1920's - 1927O'DonovanSr. M. Mark ( Maureen)1954 - 1956O'MalleySr. M. Theophane1934; 1946 - 1947O'NeillSr. M. Ita1936 - 1938; 1948 - 1950O'NeillSr. M. JosephinePre 1930O'ReillySr. M. Clare1978O'SheaSr. M. Ambrose1972 - 1974PhelanSr. M. VincentPre 1920QuinaneSr. M. Matthew (Anne)1969 - 1972RoachSr. M. Raymond1930 - 1933RobinsonSr. M. Joan1951RyanSr. M. Benignus1927 - 1930; 1948 - 1955SilkSr. M. Roberta ( Mary)1953; 1963SydenhamSr. M. Eugene (Patricia)1977 - 1979TalbotSr. M. Fidelis1920'sTaltySr. M. Nicholas1973TerrySr. Rosemary (Superior)1981 - 1985TeuchertSr. M. Teresa1920'sTooheySr. M. Kevin1930 - 1931; 1963 - 1964Van WelSr. M. Lidwina1970 - 1971WalshSr. Margaret1975 - 1981WrightSr. M. Pauline1954 - 1956; 1961 - 1962GaynorSr. M. Cabrini (Clare)1951 - 1954; 1986 - 1989; 1992 - 2003
THE NEW CONVENT
Blessing and laying of the foundation stone.
A SUCCESSFUL FUNCTION
Berrigan Advocate 19th February 1904
On Sunday last the blessing and laying of the foundation stone of the new Convent at Berrigan was celebrated amid highly gratifying surroundings and in the presence of a last and enthusiastic number of persons met His Lordship, the Bishop of the Dioceses, at the railway station on Friday. On Sunday everything was in perfect order and the weather seemed given for the occasion. After the 11 am Mass, the Bishop’s address was a masterpiece on the subject of education – what education is, it’s necessity, advantages and the causes that engender the widespread and deep rooted opposition to any departure from secular education. Immediately after the sermon, a procession of the children was formed, followed by the members of the H.A.C.B. Society, which was inaugurated the same morning, and the whole congregation. When the building was reached, the stone was uncovered and found to be a piece of beautiful granite from the quarry about a mile from town, and the perfection and beauty of the polishing and inscription called forth general admiration. The inscription on the foundation stone read; -
ST COLUMBUS (A’S) CONVENT
THIS STONE WAS
BLESSED AND LAID BY THE
RIGHT REV. J.J. GALLAGHER, D.D.
BISHOP OF GOULBURN
L. HARRISON, F.R.V.I.A. ARCHITECH
S. FOX, BUILDER In a cavity cut in the stone was placed a sealed bottle containing the following record:
“Hunc lapidem primarium Conventus Sanctae Columbae pro Sororibus Presentationia Beatae Virginis Mariae ex Wagga Wagga benedictum posuit Reverendessimus Dominus Joannes Gallagher, D.D., Episcopus Goulbournensis, Dominica Quinquagesimus anno salutis reparatae MCMIV, Reverendo Martino Vaughan Districtus Pastore, Eduardo VII, feliciter regnante, Comite Northcote vice Regis remcommunem gubernante. Magna fidelium corona circumstante qui majores etiam qua pro numero oblationes aedificio erigendo fecerunt. Quod opus fauste inceptum Deus ipse perficiat.”
“This corner stone of St Columba’s Convent for a branch of the Sisters of the Order of the Presentation of Our Blessed Lady, from Wagga Wagga, was blessed and laid by the Right Reverend J Gallagher, D.D. Bishop of Goulburn, On Quinquagesima Sunday 1904 Rev. M Vaughan being pastor of the district, in the reign of our Gracious Sovereign Edward VII, Lord Northcote being Governor-General of the Commonwealth. There was present a large Congregation of the faithful, who contributed a much larger amount towards the erection of the building than could have been expected from their wealth or numbers. May God bring to a successful issue this work so auspiciously begun.”
In the cavity were also placed the coins of the realm and a few sheets form the leading newspapers of the Commonwealth, and the last edition of the “Berrigan Advocate”.
After the blessing of the stone and the sprinkling of the Convent foundations with holy water, the builder, Mr. Fox, handed the Bishop a beautiful silver trowel, in a morocco case lined with satin and inscribed: - “Presented to the Right Rev. J. Gallagher, D.D., Bishop of Goulburn, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of St Columba’s Convent, Berrigan, 14th February 1904”.
After this ceremony a massive glass dish was laid on the foundation stone, and soon almost filled by numerous and generous donations from all classes of persons. The amount afterwards found to be £180.
We cannot speak too highly of the taste and completeness in every detail displayed by the ladies in charge of the banquet. The menu cards stood before each guest, and read: - “Soup-Fish-Poultry-Joints-Vegetables-Salads-Sweet-Fruits in Season-Wines and Ales’, and included a rare selection under each heading.
When all the guests, 300 in number, had done justice to all the good things provided, The Rev. Fr. Vaughan proposed the first toast – “His Lordship the Bishop of the Diocese”. In the course of his remarks Fr. Vaughan referred to the uniformed kindness, self-sacrifice and liberality always shown by Dr. Gallagher in every good work and asked the company to unite with him in expressing their gratitude for his Lordship’s presence. In his reply, Dr. Gallagher spoke of the very great pleasure he felt in associating himself with the people of the parish in the noble work they had undertaken. Never, more than at present, was he anxious to see all church buildings of the most permanent material. He considered that the most beautiful granite he saw in the building should be a great source of wealth in the district, and hoped that at some future time, a church, in keeping with the generous spirit and requirements of the parish, would be built of the same stone. Father Vaughan then called on Mr. Rochfort to propose “the agricultural, the pastoral and financial prosperity of Berrigan.” This was a happy choice. Mr. Rochfort did justice to the subject, and the able reply for Mr. E.J. Gorman elicited general applause.
His Lordship, the Bishop, proposed the next toast, which was the health of Fr. Vaughan, coupled with a well-merited compliment to the ladies who promoted the banquet.
Fr. Vaughan thanked His Lordship for his kind and encouraging remarks, and asked Mr. E.D. O’Dwyer to reply on behalf of the ladies.
Mr. O’Dwyer was the most original speech made. Roars of laughter and hearty applause punctuated it throughout. Mr. O’Dwyer, evidently has more in him as a speaker than he is conscious of.
An expression of thanks to the guests and particularly to the great number of non-Catholics who paid him the honour of coming to rejoice with him and his flock on such an occasion was proposed by Fr. Vaughan. With this sentiment were linked the name of Mr. Nichols, Mr. J. Blair and Mr. W.J. Burbury. These gentlemen said many kind things, and expressed the hope that such gatherings would be more frequent in future as they served for every good purpose. The last toast proposed was the architect, the builder and the men who had undertaken to build the Convent. During his remarks Fr. Vaughan asked the Bishop if the would recollect an instance of such generosity on the part of the gentlemen who were entirely strangers to them till they undertook this contract. From the ten guineas of the architect down to the half guinea of almost the last man who came on the work, gave him he said, the idea that these friends meant to give an object lesson on how such things are done elsewhere. The Bishop admitted that he could not instance a similar case. Mr. Harrison replied in a most happy stain, as also did Mr. Cumming for the men. Thus passed off a gathering that will, we believe, be remembered with satisfaction by everyone that was present.
Some of the principal donations are: -
His lordship, Dr. Gallagher£10 10s; Mr. E.J. Gorman £15; Mr. L. Harrison £10 10s; Mr. W. Quade £10 10s; Mr. E. McGrady £5 5s; Mr. P. Moran £5 5s; Mr. R. Graham £5 5s; Mr. J.D. Miller £6 6s; Mr. W.J. Miller Jnr £5 5s; Rev. M. Vaughan £5 5s; Mr. A. McDonald £5; Mr. E. Gorman £5; Mr. R. McDonald £5; Mr. T. Kelly £3 3s; Mr. G. Corbett £2 10s; Mr. P. Broderick £2 2s; Mr. T. O’Dwyer £2; Mr. W. Heffernan £2; Mr. W. Miller Snr £2 2s; Mr. E. Mannix £2; Mrs. Cameron £2; Miss. Jane McLeely £2 2s; Mrs. Corcoran £2; Mr. W.F. Egan, Jerilderie £2 2s; & Mr W.H. Crowe £2 2s.
Music at the morning service was supplied by the local choir, assisted by Mrs. Rochfort (Jerilderie) and Messrs Harrison ( Deniliquin) and St. Clair. Selections form Battman’s and Bordesè Masses were sung, and “O Salutaris” was admirably rendered by Mr. Harrison. Miss. C. Flanagan presided at the organ in her usual efficient manner.
THE NEW CONVENT OPENING CELEBRATIONS
Berrigan Advocate Friday 7th October 1904
On Friday afternoon late, the community of nuns from the Presentation Convent, Wagga, who are to take charge of the new Convent in Berrigan, arrived by train. The nuns were accompanied by the Rev. Mother of the Wagga Convent, the Mother assistant, and the Rev. Father Slattery, Vicar-General of the Diocese and were met at the station by His Lordship the Bishop of Goulburn, the Rev. Fr. Vaughan, resident priest, and a large number of adherents of the Church. They were driven to the Church grounds, where the school children were assembled. A service was held in the Church, prior to which Mrs E. J. Gorman, on behalf of the ladies of the Church, read an address of welcome. The Sisters were then shown their new home.
The Convent building is an imposing structure, and a distinct acquisition to the architecture of the town. The external walls and partitions are built of massive granite, obtained from the local quarries, and one cannot help expressing wonder that such fine material had been put to practical use before, as it has been stated authoritatively that it is equal, if not superior, to any of its kind in Australia. The building has been constructed with a view, not of ornamentation, but of comfort and durability. It contains five large lofty rooms, viz, the oratory, two dormitories, community room and refectory. In addition there is the reception and music rooms, kitchen, pantry and bathroom, which are on a slightly smaller scale, there is also a spacious verandah in front supported by steel pillars. The roof is of corrugated iron, and the ceilings are embossed steel of neat design or an imitation of ruberoid paper. The external walls are built in ashlar, with dressed quoins and reveals to the doors and windows, and the inside throughout is plastered. It took the Rev. Fr. Vaughan and his committee some little time to make up their minds what the building would be constructed of.
They, however, made a happy choice, and St. Columba’s Convent will for a generation serve to act a monument to their wisdom. The building was commenced by Mr. S. Fox, Deniliquin, and completed by Messrs McBride and Nichols, Echuca. The work was conducted under the supervision of Louis Harrison, F.R.V.I.A., Deniliquin, who prepared the plans.
Sunday was an important day to the adherents of the Church, and a few of other denominations. Masses were celebrated at 8, 9 and 11 o’clock. Prior to the last named the ceremony of blessing the building was performed by Dr. Gallagher.
Outside the Church the school children and members of the Hibernian Lodge formed in procession and marched to the Convent. His Lordship then performed the solemn ceremony, explaining the object to those assembled. The Church was crowded at the 11o’clock Mass, at the conclusion of which His Lordship gave an earnest and stirring address on education, the necessity and the advantages. At the conclusion of the service a special collection was taken up to liquidate the debt, and was contributed to with the people’s well known generosity, no less a sum the £60 being handed in.
Fr. Vaughan than entertained the members of the Hibernian Lodge and a number of visitors at a banquet at the Presbytery. After full justice had been done to the liberal spread presided over by the ladies, Fr. Vaughan said the opportunity was a fitting one in which to announce the moneys that had been received and disbursed in connection with the Convent. It took £1300 to erect, furnish the building and meet all other incidental expenses arising. By the liberality of the people in making special donations, contributing at the laying of the foundation stone, and that day’s celebrations, together with the bazaar, the debt that remained was comparatively an insignificant one, and would, he expected, be totally wiped out at the end of the year, according to the promises he had received. Fr. Vaughan than asked those present to drink to the health of His Lordship, not as their Bishop, but their friend. He could assure them that they could not have a more warm-hearted or sympathetic friend. The toast was enthusiastically honoured, and His Lordship made a feeling and effective reply. The health of the Vicar-General of the Diocese, the Rev. Fr. Slattery, was also honoured, and much merriment was caused at the reply, Fr. Slattery telling some amusing anecdotes of the district – the scene of his early labours. After the health of “The Visitors” was proposed and responded to, Fr. Slattery than made a humorous speech in proposing a toast to “the Ladies”, which was responded to by Mr. G.W. Daniel. The health of the Rev. Fr. Vaughan, proposed by His Lordship – who paid a high tribute to the earnestness and business capacity of their host – terminated a highly successful gathering.