The Brigidine Sisters (also known as the Brigidine Order, or simply the Brigidines) are a global Roman Catholic congregation, founded by Bishop Daniel Delany in Ireland on February 1, 1807. There were six founding members of the religious institute, all of whom were originally catechists: Eleanor Tallon, Margaret Kinsella, Eleanor Dawson, Judith Whelan, Bridget Brien and Catherine Doyle.
An earlier congregation linked to Saint Brigid had been founded in the fifth century AD, and had lasted until the Reformation; Bishop Delany considered the establishment of this new congregation to be merely a refounding of the original one. In order to demonstrate this continuity, he brought an oak sapling with him from Kildare and planted it in the grounds of the new convent in Tullow, Co. Carlow.
In 1809, he sent three of the sisters from Tullow to Mountrath in Co. Laois, where they founded a convent and school which survives to this day. In 1842, another house was established in Abbeyleix, also in Co. Laois. Then, in 1858 a layman in Goresbridge offered to help finance a foundation in his parish. The Paulstown and Ballyroan foundations soon followed.
In 1883, in answer to a request from a bishop in New South Wales, six sisters from Mountrath went to Australia. They founded their first establishment in Coonamble, New South Wales. From there branches quickly spread to the dioceses of Sydney, Bathurst, Canberra-Goulburn, Perth and Brisbane as well as to the Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1898.
The archive of the Brigidine Sisters is stored in the The Delany Archive in Carlow College.
Mission and Ethos
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Clonard College
- Kilbreda College
- Killester College
- Marian College, Ararat
- Marian College, Sunshine West
- St. Joseph's College, Echuca
- St. Augustine's College, Kyabram
- Western Australia
- St Bride's College for Girls (merged to become Chanel College, Masterton)
- The Brigidine Sisters: Our beginnings - Australian Website
- Delaney Archive - Brigidine Sisters Archive
- "Institute of the Brigidines". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.