History & Josephite Charism

Mount St Joseph was opened in 1960 in answer to a desperate need for a Catholic girls’ secondary school in south-western Sydney. The spirit in which this need was met for the people living in and around Milperra was the same spirit which animated Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, whose life was lived in response to the needs of her day.

In her desire for Catholic education, Mary co-founded with Father Julian Tenison Woods the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Their first school was established in 1866 in Penola, South Australia in response to the need for Catholic education of poor children, particularly those in rural areas.

Soon the Order began to flourish, in both country towns and cities. Under Mary’s guidance the work of the Sisters in schools, hospitals and orphanages reflected her motto of never seeing a need without trying to remedy it. Throughout both Australia and New Zealand, St Joseph’s schools became a feature of the Catholic education system.

Today, there are over 850 Sisters ministering throughout Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Peru, East Timor, Scotland and Brazil.

In 1959, Father Landers (Panania) and Father Carr (Revesby) accompanied Mother Leone Ryan, the Superior of the Sisters of St Joseph, in search of a suitable site for a new girls’ high school to be built in south-western Sydney. At this time the population of the area was increasing rapidly and the parishes were unable to meet the costs of building such a school. The search ended with the purchase of the land on which the school now stands.

A school was built and in 1960 girls from the surrounding parish schools began their secondary education at Milperra. In 2013, the Congregation handed over administration of the school to Sydney Catholic Schools.

At Mount St Joseph the spirit of St Mary of the Cross finds expression in the education of girls of all abilities from families who live in our region and seek a Catholic education. Within the supportive environment of school they will be nurtured by the example guided in their growth and development by teachers who are committed to Jesus’ vision for living.

We are a community that embraces the values of acceptance, compassion, wisdom, hospitality, loyalty and action in all we do. Under the patronage of St Joseph, our school is proud to continue the charism, work and vision of the Sisters of St Joseph.