St Clare’s Catholic School has four sports houses which are named after significant leaders within the Catholic Church at the time of the opening of the school.
The houses include:
Blessed Mary MacKillop was canonised St Mary of the Cross MacKillop in 2010 in the year in which the first sod of soil was turned to begin the construction of St Clare’s Catholic School. St Mary of the Cross is also our first Australian saint.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop was a colonial Australian born in 1842 and the founding religious leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, the first Australian religious order for sisters. Greatly influenced by Father Julian Tennyson Woods, Mary opened the first St Joseph’s School in a disused stable in Penola, South Australia in 1866. Other young women came to join Mary and so the congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph began. Bishop Shiel, the bishop of Adelaide asked Mary to start another school in Adelaide. From there the sisters spread in small groups to small outback settlements, larger cities and wherever there was a need around Australia, New Zealand and today in Peru, Brazil and refugee camps in Uganda and Thailand. May and her sisters had a profound influence on forming Catholic Education as we know it today. Mary also opened orphanages and providences to care for the homeless and derelict, young and old. Mary always had a deep longing to give basic education and human dignity to the poor.
Throughout her life, Mary was challenged by those who tried to undermine her work and wrongly accused her from both within and without the church. Mary stood steadfastly to her beliefs managing trouble and suffering with a deep trust in God. She always readily forgave those who wronged her. Mary died in 1909.