Catholic education in Horsham, under the tutelage of Lay teachers, dates back to the 1880s. In 1918 however, the Very Rev D Howell, (Parish Priest 1917 -1929) approached the Mother Provincial of the Brigidine Congregation of Sisters, Mother Paul Barron, with the request for Sisters to come to Horsham to establish a boarding and day school.
On the April 10, 1920, following the building of the Brigidine Convent, Mother Paul Barron arrived in Horsham accompanied by the Sisters who were to pioneer the Brigidine Community. The five Sisters were – Mother Stanislaus Tobin (Superior), Mother Columba Clancy, Mother Antonia White, Sister Agnes O’Farrell and Sister Imelda O’Collins.
Three days after arriving, Sister Imelda took charge of 65 pupils at St Michael and St John’s Primary School. With the Brigidine reputation secure throughout the region, eleven students enrolled in St Brigid’s Convent School within a month. Mother Stanislaus Tobin received a certificate from the Council of Public Education, registering St Brigid’s School No.1122 on July 27, 1920.
The Centenary of the Brigidine Sisters and Brigidine Education in Horsham was to have been celebrated over the June long weekend in 2020, however plans were shelved as the global pandemic closed down any hope of holding celebrations at that time.
Two years on, we are now planning to proceed with a weekend of celebrations to mark the milestone.
On the weekend of July 16 & 17, 2022, you are invited to participate in tours of the three schools – Ss Michael & John’s Primary School, Horsham, Our Lady Help of Christians, Murtoa, and St Brigid’s College, Horsham; celebratory Masses at Murtoa and Horsham; and social gatherings in the Parish Centre. There will also be a presentation of a Commemorative Quilt which will hang in Horsham’s Parish Office, and the launch of a book recognising the 100 years of Brigidine Sisters in Horsham.
See the flyer below for further information and how to pre-order a copy of the book The Spirit of Brigid Alive in Horsham – 100 years of Brigidine Education.
To assist with planning, please indicate your intentions to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by July 8, 2022.