For the poor & the poor only

For more than 100 years, Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor – fondly known as the Brown Nurses – has performed a unique ministry of healthcare, advocacy and friendship for the sick poor and disadvantaged.


Servant of God

Australia’s ‘saint in waiting’, Eileen O’Connor, has been recognised as Servant of God by the Holy See.


28 September 1918. Co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, Captain Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc, is recommended for the Victoria Cross after rescuing a seriously-injured British Army officer from no-man’s land during an action on the Western Front. 

19 March 1939. Most Rev Norman Gilroy, Archbishop Coadjutor of Sydney, lays the foundation stone for a new building at Our Lady’s Home, Coogee. 

10 January 2017. Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, approves two prayers for the beatification of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor co-founder, Eileen O’Connor:

30 August 1962. His Eminence Cardinal Norman Gilroy, approves a prayer for the beatification of Eileen O’Connor.

10 April 1920. Knowing that her health is fading, Eileen O’Connor commissions a portrait of herself to present to her nurse companions.

6 May 1943. This image shows Eileen O'Connor with Kathleen Perrottet, whose mother was a staunch supporter of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor from the very beginning. 


11 April 1881. Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor co-founder, Timothy Edward McGrath msc, is born at Bungeet West, near Devenish in northern Victoria. He endures a difficult childhood by any measure.

The Burns family of Natick, Rhode Island, USA, returned these two lockets, which contain several strands of Eileen’s hair and fragments from Father McGrath’s crucifix, to Our Lady’s Home in 2001.

24 January 1915. One of the very first foundation nurses, Agnes (May) McGahey, enters Our Lady’s Home, Coogee.

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