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 the poor
Australia’s ‘saint in waiting’, Eileen O’Connor, has been recognised as Servant of the Poor by the Holy See.
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.
“Think not of the sorrow or the pain, but of all you can do by them: Do not be afraid, love and trust, working through the cross.”
15 April 1973. Co-founder Rev. Father Edward McGrath msc and three of the foundation nurses celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor.
15 April 2013. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, gives an Apostolic Blessing to the congregation of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, their associates and friends on the centenary of the foundation of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor.
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.