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.


A Saint-in-waiting?

Eileen O’Connor – dubbed ‘Little Mother’ by her congregation – is considered by many to be a saint-in-waiting.


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10 January 2018. Year after year, the faithful have quietly come to Our Lady’s Home each year to pray at her tomb on the anniversary of her death or to place their petitions in our intercessory box – and this year was no different.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has selected Eileen O'Connor as the official spiritual companion for the Archdiocese of Sydney’s young people in the Year of Youth, which is being held around the country by the nation’s bishops.

22 March 2018. The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, begins the formal process for the beatification of Eileen O’Connor.

“Make a resolution to love Our Lord, giving Him all yourself, to be used in saving or helping to save souls, by giving all the help in your power. Act through love; prove your love by ever keeping Our Lord before you.”

28 December 1915. Julia Cooney enters Our Lady’s Home, taking the total number of volunteer nurses to seven. Julia went on to have one of the longest vocations of all the nurses.

19 December 1936. Eileen O’Connor’s body is exhumed from Randwick Cemetery for reinterment in the chapel at Our Lady’s Home. Upon opening the casket, her body is found to be incorrupt.

30 November 1909. Co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, Edward (Ted) McGrath is ordained a priest of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart at St Mary’s Cathedral by His Eminence Patrick Cardinal Moran. 

2 December 1970. His Eminence Norman Cardinal Gilroy presents Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor co-founder, Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc, to His Holiness Pope Paul VI, during the papal visit to Australia. 

11 November 1918. The community at Our Lady’s Nurses rejoices that the Great War is finally over. It has been a long and anxious period for Eileen O’Connor, Cissie McLaughlin, Julia Cooney and May McGahey, who have seven brothers serving on the Western Front.

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