Sisters of Mercy West Perth
Sister Berchmans Deane and Sister John Evangelist Stewart from the Mercy Convent of the Immaculate Conception, Victoria Square Perth, were given charge of a new school which was opened in a cottage in John Street, Perth on the 16th July 1888. Called St Brigid’s, the school flourished and attracted many pupils.
The numbers increased so rapidly that it became necessary to expand the building only six months later.
On the 1st Feb 1889, on the feast of St Brigid, the foundation stone of a large school building was laid by Bishop Gibney. The numbers at the school quickly grew to over 100 pupils. The rapid increase in numbers resulted in the construction of a Convent Chapel and more rooms to accommodate the growing numbers of Sisters needed to staff the school. The convent building was extended in stages, increasing in size as the community grew. The Convent, as it stands today, was completed in 1896
Due to the success of the school a decision was made to make St Brigid’s an independant community of the Sisters of Mercy. The ceremony took place on the 25th May 1896. Sister Berchmans Deane was appointed Mother Superior and Sr Ligouri Gilchrist was appointed Mother Assistant. The new foundation was then able to begin their own Novitiate and accept postulants directly into St Brigid’s Convent.
In 1974 the Sisters moved out of the area due to changing demographics. The school numbers had dwindled and the area was increasingly becoming a commercial and industrial district. The Convent was sold to the State Government and was used by the Department of Corrections and TAFE WA.
An opportunity to return to St Brigid’s presented itself when the Government offered to sell the Convent back to the Sisters. A community grant was used to restore the Convent to its original condition and the Sisters were able to move back to St Brigid’s in 1998. The Convent and the precinct is now heritage listed.
Today St Brigid’s Convent is used as the Congregation administration offices of the Sisters of Mercy West Perth. The original cottage, still standing on the site where the story first began, houses the historical records and artefacts of the Sisters and their Ministries since 1896.
Administrative and Personal records of the Sisters of Mercy West Perth and thier ministries since 1896.