April 14, 2014

Catherine McAuley Rose Garden (Brisbane Congregation)

Editor: We received this image and short story regarding the Catherine McAuley rose garden in Charleville, south-west Queensland, Australia. We renew our invitation to send in your McAuley rose story for publication

I am writing from St Mary’s Catholic School, Charleville in Queensland, Australia.  Last year we celebrated the centenary of the school.  It was  founded by the Brisbane Sisters of Mercy and opened on Australia Day, January 1913.  In 2012 when we were building our Cobb & Co Sports Hall it was decided to build a garden between it and the main building as a place where one could just sit and relax.  One of the roses planted in it is the Catherine McAuley rose.

The school goes from Prep to Year 7 and has 193 students.  I am the only Sister of Mercy on staff now.  I work as a teacher aide part time and also in the parish.

Yes, this Charleville was named after Charleville in Ireland.  The first settlers here back in the 1800s came from Charleville in Ireland.  This Charleville is probably the exact opposite of the Irish Charleville.   The population is about 3000 and we are in outback Queensland - very dry, dusty and hot and, at the moment, we are in drought.  A couple of years ago we had a couple of feet of flood waters through the school and the church.  The people who live here are very resilient.  They have to be.

Messages to: Elizabeth O'Keeffe rsm (Brisbane Congregation)

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