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School Houses

St Patrick's have four school houses and each student is allocated to a house when they start at St Patrick's.  That house allocation will apply to siblings as they enrol too.  The four school houses are named after prominent people.

McAuley  (blue house)

Named after Sister Catherine McAuley, joint founder of the Sisters of Mercy, born September 29 1778 in Ireland and died November 11, 1841.

In 1824 Catherine McAuley leased a property in southeast Dublin to build a house to serve poor women and children.  

On December 12 1831 Catherine McAuley, Mary Ann Doyle and Mary Elizabeth Harley professed their religious vows as the first Sisters of Mercy, thereby founding the congregation.  She encouraged her Sisters to "educate poor girls, to lodge and maintain poor young women who are in danger and to visit the sick poor".  Within 10 years Catherine founded nine Convents of Mercy in Ireland and England.

The Sisters of Mercy made a foundation in Perth, Western Australia in 1846.

Today there are more than 12,000 Sisters of Mercy worldwide.  They run 200 health care facilities, 19 colleges, 58 schools and provide many other services that help people of every age.

O'Rourke  (yellow house)

Named after Father Timothy O'Rourke, Parish Priest at St Patrick's Catholic Church 1885-1860, died January 16 1861.

Fr O'Rourke was educated at Maynooth, Ireland and ordained as a priest in mid-1849.  He left Ireland in August of that year to undertake missionary work in New Zealand.

In poor health he came to Melbourne for a holiday in January 1854 and agreed to act temporarily in the vacancy caused by the last illnesses of Fr Clarke in the parish of Kilmore.  He remained and carried on with an energy far beyond his strength and accomplished much in a few short years which is testimony to the zeal of a great priest.  Fr O'Rourke's first task was to assume responsibility for the building of the school-church.  He initiated the building of a bluestone church-school.  This building, used as a boy's school, had two large rooms with extra small rooms for a master and a school-mistress.

About 1855, under Fr O'Rourke's supervision, a small, solid bluestone church known as St Bridget's was built at the Survey on 2 acres  of land donated by George Jessop.  Maher states that the church was used for services for two years before being blessed by Bishop Goold on November 1 1857.

Fr O'Rourke not only took on responsibility for the building for the church, he also maintained several schools in the parish including opening at least 5 to accommodate the growing numbers of children living in the area.

St Patrick's Church was begun in 1857 under the watchful eye of Fr O'Rourke.  He continued serving his parish despite ill health up until the last few months of 1860.  Fr O'Rourke was interred in front of the Our Lady alter in the church he had organised to build on March 23 1871.

Chisholm  (red house)

Named after Caroline Chisholm, humanitarian, born May 30 1808 in England and died March 25 1877 in England.

Caroline Chisholm was born in England.  She arrived in Australia in 1838 and set up a home for other women who had come to live here.  She worked to improve life on the ships bringing people to Australia to start a new life and started a loans plan to bring poor children and families to Australia.  She arranged free trips so that the families of convicts who were transported to Australia could come to join them.  She also believed poor people should be able to buy farms cheaply.

Caroline set up a home in Sydney for young women, and organised other homes in several rural centres.  The home was soon extended to help families and young men.  During the seven years Caroline was in Australia she placed over 11,000 people in homes and jobs.  Her 'home'  - the Female Immigrant Home helped over 40,000 people in its 38 year lifespan.  She became a very well-known woman who was very much admired.

Morrison  (green house)

Named after Monsignor Ken Morrison, Parish Priest St Patrick's Catholic Church 1952 - 1977.

Monsignor Morrison became the Parish Priest of St Mary's in Williamstown in 1936.  This included becoming the part-time chaplain to the Point Cook and Laverton bases of the Royal Australia Air Force.  During World War II he became the Principal Catholic Chaplain.  He was responsible for 60 chaplains who served in Britain, Malta, the Far East, the Pacific, Japan and throughout Australia.  He made frequent visits to their posts.  In 1947-48 Monsignor Morrison served a 12 month tour of duty in Japan.  In 1948 he reverted to his pre-war practice of dividing time between civil and service duties.  He was awarded the OBE in 1962 for his work with the Air Force.

In 1952 he took up the appointment of parish priest in Kilmore,  He quickly gained support of the parishioners to restore the church that was showing severe damage.  He also rebuilt the school that had been condemned by the Health Authorities.  In 1968 he added a larger school building and organised a bus service to bring students to St Patrick's from Broadford and Kilmore East.  Monsignor Morrison drove the bus for 17 years.

During his remaining time at St Patrick's Monsignor Morrison added a district church at Wallan and rebuilt one at Darraweit Guim.  He also administered a circuit of six district churches.

He handed over the reins of Parish Priest to Father Peter Rankin on June 18 1977.

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