Our Saints

St. Joseph


St. Joseph was a carpenter, a working man that was by no means rich. Despite his humble work and means, St. Joseph came from a royal lineage.  He was descended from David, the greatest king of Israel.

St. Joseph was a compassionate and caring man who loved Jesus and respected God. He followed God's commands in supporting Mary through her pregnancy and helping her to raise Jesus, as well as going to Jerusalem to have Jesus and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. He took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

St. Joseph is the patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for St. Joseph:

March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop


Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne on the 15th of January 1842 to Scottish immigrant parents. Mary and her siblings were well educated in their faith and school work by their father. As the eldest of eight children, a young Mary bore the responsibility of assisting in providing for her family, due to her Father’s inability to do so. 

At the age of 18, she became the governess for her Aunt and Uncle’s children. Mary not only educated her Aunt and Uncle’s children but also many of the other children on the estate, seeing the need to educate those who through poverty were left without the ability to read and write.

Mary’s work came to the attention of the local Catholic Priest, Fr. Julian Woods. Mary shared her desire to serve the educational and spiritual needs of the poor with Fr. Woods. Mary had long desired a religious life founded on serving the needs of the poor, and Fr. Woods had long dreamed of an order of Nuns that might join him in his quest to educate the children of poor Catholic families. 

In Penola in 1866 together they founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, and with the assistance of her sisters Annie and Lexie, they established their first school for the poor in a disused stable.

Mary bore many trials and hardships in her life; she was excommunicated twice by the church, but held strong to her faith and her beliefs, founding Catholic Education in South Australia.

On the 17th of October 2010, Mary was canonised becoming St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first saint.

The Solemnity of St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop is celebrated on August 8.

Diocese of Port Pirie

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St. Joseph's School Renmark

36 Twelfth Street, Renmark, South Australia, 5341
Telephone: 08 8586 2700
Email: info@sjsr.catholic.edu.au