Monsignor Frawley (affectionately known as 'The Mons') was born near Toowoomba in 1904 and when he completed secondary school, became a teacher. After three years he entered seminary training, being ordained as a priest in 1930. He served as a curate and parish priest through the 1930s, becoming a chaplain and serving in the RAAF during WW2. His wartime service had him sheltering during bombing raids on several occasions and must have tested his faith to the limit.
He was posted to Scarborough as parish priest in 1946 and set about his task of building a church and schools because he knew these were the best ways to make life rewarding and meaningful for his people. He was a great organiser and builder and eventually several schools and a church were in operation.
Eventually in 1973, one of the schools, Frawley College, was named after him. At his funeral in 2002, young people wore the uniforms of all his former schools and SCCC students formed a guard of honour for the man who had built their college and given it his spirit of prayer and working to the best of one’s ability.
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Biography by Fr Paul Gardiner, S.J. Postulator of the cause
Mary Helen MacKillop was born to Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald in Melbourne in 1842 (in Fitzroy, home of the Fitzroy Lions who merged with the
Brisbane AFL team) into a poor family of 8 children (four boys and four girls) who
were often placed with friends and relatives so they could be looked after. Although Alexander was a good man and genuinely religious, he was not a successful money earner. The family needed her to earn money and so at the age of 16 she went to
work to earn money to support them. Mary found herself with the duty of
supporting this family until she was 25.
When she was 18, Mary left her family to work as a governess and teacher for her cousins in Penola, South Australia, so that she could send money back to support her family. Here she met Julian Tenison Woods (a gifted missionary priest, scientist, geologist, writer, musician and popular lecturer) Fr Julian Tenison Woods, was
concerned that in the vast area under his care the children had no education, religious or secular.
In time Fr Woods' problem and the young woman's vocation found a single solution in the great religious and educational enterprise known as the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. "Our work was instituted by God", Mary said, "to destroy the secular spirit of education among our schools". The foundation is traced to the period when she returned to Penola in 1866 after some years teaching elsewhere, and became Sr Mary of the Cross.
After small beginnings in a school building that had been a stable, the Sisters of St Joseph moved to the capital city, Adelaide, where their numbers grew rapidly. Before long, their works of charity had spread to other parts of Australia and to New Zealand. The young women who joined her as teachers became her religious sisters and they began teaching the poor children in many small outback towns and big cities. They took the model of the European schools (largely created by John Baptist de La Salle and used by Daniel Delany) and modified it for Australians. This meant that the sisters taught subjects that helped young people get jobs and good manners and music so they could mix in any social company.
In 1873 Sr Mary was sent to Rome to obtain the approval of the Holy See for the institute. She had several audiences with Pope Pius IX, who gave her great encouragement. She returned to Australia with a modified Rule, being assured by the officials of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide that after some years' trial it would be given final approval.
In 1875 Mary was elected Mother General. After many difficulties she had the joy of seeing the institute approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, by which time the mother-house was in Sydney.
When God finally called her from this world on 8 August 1909, Her place of rest in the chapel of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, North Sydney, is a place of pilgrimage and devotion.
Her sisters brought Catholic education to Redcliffe in 1922 with Our Lady Help of Christians on a site next to the present museum. They and many others have extended her work beyond Australia and New Zealand to Peru, Brazil and to refugee camps in Thailand and Uganda.
Dr Daniel Delany
When considering Delany as one of founders we need to include the contribution and legacy of the Brigidine Sisters. It was Delany that dedicated to the Sisters to the role model of St Brigid (approx. 453-52 AD) one the four great Saints of Ireland and Patroness of Ireland. In the Irish Tradition “both men and women were seen as courageous”. (Eddy & Hamilton 1999, p.30) Therefore it is only right that we honour both in this reflection.
The History of Daniel Delany was born in 1747 and trained in Paris (because of the Penal Laws in Ireland), before being ordained as a priest in 1770. He was shocked by the lack of education of nearly everyone, especially as he had been an excellent scholar himself, and rather than simply carry out his formal duties as a bishop, he set about organising Sunday school for adults and children. He found young men and women who were willing to create and run schools and so began the Brigidine Sisters (1807) and Patrician Brothers (1808).
The Brigidine sisters gradually increased in numbers and began schools in Ireland and around the world coming to Australia in 1883 and reaching the Peninsula with St Bernadette’s Primary School in 1948, Soubirous College in 1951 and Our Lady of Lourdes at Woody Point in 1969..
They knew that education and faith were the only way to rescue young people from poverty and that the secret of a good school was a place that educated everyone who came, especially the ones who could not afford an education. They also knew that it was important to look after the spiritual lives of students so that they would be not only knowledgeable and skilful, but also have a personal depth and faith that made them complete human beings.
John Baptist de La Salle
John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719) was born into a wealthy French family just after a time of war and at the same time as the country’s greatest king, Louis XIV. While there was peace and prosperity for the rich, most of the people were quite poor with little possibility of ever escaping their poverty. Their struggle to survive also meant that they had little opportunity for developing a healthy spiritual life. De La Salle was set for a glittering career because he had the highest university honours, was from an influential family and was likely to reach a high status in the church. It was in meeting Adrian Nyel that De la Salle was challenged to see and respond to the poor. He became involved in parish schools where everyone could receive an education. He with the help of his brothers revolutionised teaching practices of his time.
People suggest that he is the founder of the modern class room. He grouped students into classes depending on their level of education, he trained teachers and he had the students learn good manners and do practical subjects in their own language so that they could get worthwhile jobs. His brothers, of whom there were about 100 when he died, despite almost disappearing during the French Revolution in 1789 and suffering persecution again in 1906 grew to 15000 by 1900.
At the invitation of Fr Frawley they came to the Peninsula in 1955 opening De La Salle College. Currently there are 4500 brothers and 91000 Lasallians around the world who teach or look after about a million young people. The spirit of De La Salle guides SCCC today making us part of the worldwide Lasallian family.