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.
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.
21 August 1918. Co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, Captain Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc, is awarded the Military Cross for repeated acts of gallantry on the Western Front.
16 June 1921. The Catholic Press reports that co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc, has been appointed parish priest at St. Alban’s in London.
“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.”
31 May 1913. Mary Drohan enters Our Lady’s Home, just five days after Cissie McLaughlin. With two volunteer nurses, the mission of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor can begin.
9 May 1939. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the annual card party to raise funds for Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor was held the previous day at the Trocadero in George St, Sydney.
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.
23 April 1953. Eight members of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, dubbed ‘Australia’s newest religious congregation’, had the honour of leading a group of 430 sisters a huge procession of nearly 25,000 people to mark the end of the Australian National Eucharistic Congress.
Many of the photographs from the early years of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor were taken by the community’s co-founder, Eileen O’Connor.