Perthville, a picturesque village 10km from Bathurst in the central west of NSW is the site of the Mother House of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Bathurst Diocese (Perthville Josephites). The foundation community of sisters came from Adelaide in 1872. During 1875 Mary MacKillop visited Perthville and gave a retreat to the sisters while Fr Tenison Woods also gave retreats and encouraged the sisters and children during numerous visits. In 1876 Bishop Matthew Quinn (then Bishop of the Bathurst Diocese) decided to form a Diocesan Josephite Congregation.
The Perthville Josephites follow in the footsteps of their co-founders Mary MacKillop and Julian Woods, ministering in a variety of ways across the Bathurst Diocese and beyond. Perthville, linked as it is to the life of Blessed Mary MacKillop, is today a pilgrimage site and Josephite centre.
Perthville Josephites are “Women of Compassion and Hope” who “dare to walk with people who are poor and those without a voice with whatever talents and resources we have. We commit ourselves to reject any form of injustice and take action where we can” (Mission Statement). We live in a spirit of hospitality, warmth, simplicity of life, action on behalf of others and care of our earth.
The Perthville Josephites are involved in a variety of ministries. These include rural ministry, school teaching and administration, working in parishes as pastoral associates and secretary, visiting people in hospital and in their homes, being a prison chaplain, preparing liturgy, caring for the aged, reaching out to refugees, lecturing at university lecturing at university and always praying. The Perthville Josephites also conduct the Josephite Foundation No Interest Loans Scheme which provides no interest loans for household items to people with limited financial resources. This offers opportunities for growth, life and new potential for people who are poor or marginalised, enabling them to live with dignity.
“We participate in Jesus’ mission of bringing about the reign of God in our world. We commit ourselves to living and proclaiming the gospel, affirming the giftedness and dignity of every person and exercising a prophetic role within the Church and society”.