In July 1872 three Sisters of St Joseph and one lay woman arrived at The Vale, a village near Bathurst, New South Wales. They had come from Adelaide in response to an invitation from the Catholic bishop of Bathurst to establish a foundation of the newly founded Congregation in his diocese—the first Josephite foundation in New South Wales. Sister Teresa McDonald was the leader or Superior of the founding community. Born in Scotland in 1838, she had come to Australia with her parents finally settling in Adelaide. A friend of both Father Julian Tenison Woods and Mother Mary MacKillop, she joined the Sisters of St Joseph in 1867. This book explores her early life and her time as a Sister of St Joseph in Adelaide where she served as the first Provincial of the Congregation in South Australia. It also gives particular attention to Teresa’s short years at The Vale, her struggle with ill health and her death in January 1876.
Marie Crowley has had a lifelong association with the Sisters of St Joseph, Perthville. Most of her professional life has been spent in teaching. She holds a Masters Degree in Theology (Melbourne) and in 2009 was awarded a PhD by the Australian Catholic University for her exploration into the relationship between theology and art. Her previous books are: Women of The Vale: Perthville Josephites 1872–1972 (2002), The Carmelite Nuns of Parkes (2009) and Except in Obedience: the Diocesan Sisters of St Joseph in Victoria (2013).