LCM Australia

1885 – November 4th the first LCM Foundation in Australia. Six Sisters arrived on the S.S. Liguria at Sydney.  They commenced their mission first at Kings Cross and then at Lewisham (1887) a suburb of Sydney where the first LCM hospital in Australia, Lewisham Hospital, was founded. Opened in 1889 and originally called Children’s Hospital of the Holy Child for the treatment of children, it ceased to be an exclusively children’s hospital by 1892.

1892 – Ryde. The Sisters were invited by Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, to make a foundation on a large plot of land gifted by Mr Thomas Dalton KCMG. Mr Dalton paid for two sisters to undertake mental health training in England and thereafter Mount St Margaret Hospital for the care of psychiatric patients commenced with the first patients being received in April 1894.

1893 – Final Papal approbation of the Constitution of the Little Company of Mary was received from Pope Leo XIII.

1900 – Adelaide. The Sisters commenced Calvary Hospital at North Adelaide taking over a small private hospital from Mrs Isobel Baker. Calvary was and remains the only Catholic hospital in South Australia, now operating from several sites across the CBD and suburbs. It was registered as a training school for nurses by the Australian Trained Nurses Association in 1900, the first LCM training hospital in Australia.

1904 – South Africa. Three Sisters from Australia travelled to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to make a foundation. In 1925 this foundation was annexed to the Irish Province of the Little Company of Mary.

1922 – The Province of St Joseph established in Australia.

Calvary Hospital, Wagga Wagga

1926 – Wagga Wagga. At the invitation of Bishop Dwyer, first Bishop of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga, the Sisters commenced a foundation at “Foxborough Hall”.  Initially called “Lewisham Hospital”, eventually Calvary Hospital Wagga Wagga, was built on land opposite Foxborough with the first patients being received in 1930.

1934 – Morisset, N.S.W.  Foundation of St Joseph’s Convalescent Home for sick and retired priests. The Little Company of Mary Sisters withdrew from Morisset in 1947 when the St John of God Brothers assumed responsibility for St Joseph’s.

1938 – (May) Melbourne. Five Sisters commenced home nursing from the convent in Albert Road, Melbourne, later moving to South Caulfield to commence Bethlehem Hospital (1941) on the site of the former Berkley Maternity Hospital.

1938 – (October) Hobart. Five Sisters commenced the foundation at New Town Tasmania where Calvary Hospital was established.

1950 – Cairns. At the invitation of Bishop Cahill six sisters commenced work at Lake Street where Calvary Hospital was established. A nurse training school was opened in 1952.

1953 – The Australian Province of St Joseph was renamed the Province of the Holy Spirit.

1953 – (September).  The Maternal Heart of Mary Chapel and Convent in Wagga Wagga was opened with blessings from Rev. Francis Henschke.  The Mother General of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, Mother M Bernard from Rome, was in attendance.

1960 – The Sisters took possession of “Overdale” a grazing property in Harefield, N.S.W. close to Wagga Wagga. The property was bequeathed to the Sisters from the estate of Mr F J Leahy. Overdale was first used as a convalescent home for the Sisters and later as a Retreat and Spirituality Centre until its closure and sale in 2004.

1963 – At the invitation of the Bishop of Chuncheon Diocese, the Little Company of Mary Sisters began a foundation at Kang Neung, South Korea, where Calvary Clinic was built to care for the sick and dying of the area. This marked the beginning of the Korean mission which was part of the Australian Province of the Holy Spirit until it became an autonomous Province on 15 August 1999.

Foundation Sisters Calvary Hospital Kogarah

1966 – Kogarah N.S.W.  The Sisters accepted an invitation from His Eminence, Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney to commence a hospital for the “terminally ill” at Kogarah.  This was the first dedicated hospice and palliative care service for the Australian Province. Later the Novitiate for the Little Company of Mary Province of the Holy Spirit was transferred from Lewisham to Kogarah and remained there until 1982.

1969 – Somerset, Tasmania. Sisters commenced a district nursing service from the community property “Fairlands” for the people of the North West Coast of Tasmania.

1979 – Canberra. The Little Company of Mary was chosen to build and operate a public hospital in the National Capital, Calvary Hospital in the suburb of Bruce. This remains the only Catholic Hospital operating in the Australian Capital Territory. The hospital was designed to cater for the health needs of the growing population of the north side of the Territory.

Sr Louise McMahon & Sr Agatha Woods during Mount Saint Margaret demolition.

1991 – Ryde. Mount Saint Margaret Hospital was officially closed and the redevelopment of the site as Dalton Gardens (now Calvary) Retirement community began.

1997 – Little Company of Mary Health Care was established by the Sisters to ensure the ongoing management of the hospitals and aged care facilities of the Province.

2011 – On 1 January, the canonical stewardship of Little Company of Mary Health Care was transferred from the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary to a new body, Calvary Ministries. Calvary Ministries is the Public Juridical body established by the Holy See, at the request of the Sisters in Australia, to continue the LCM ministry into the future. Although Calvary Ministries officially took responsibility for the stewardship of Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd in January 2011, it was granted Public Juridic personality by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 15 August 2009 (the Feast of the Assumption).

2015 – On 1 March the LCM Province of the Holy Spirit, Australia and Region of the Blessed Sacrament Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga united into a single Province known as the Province of the Southern Cross.

2018 – 4 November the Province of the Southern Cross became the Region of the Southern Cross.

2022 – LCM officially recognised through the NSW government’s blue plaque programme for their work establishing a hospital at Wagga Wagga in 1926.

2023 – Region Administration Centre moves to new offices in Mascot, Sydney.

Mascot Office

“With faith and trust… you may be able to do more than you now dream is possible.”
Venerable Mary Potter