View of Loreto Convent, established in Perth, Australia, in 1894. The convent and a school at St. George’s Terrace was established by the Loreto Sisters, a teaching order of Catholic nuns. The school was combined with a boys’ school in the 1970s and is still in existence today as a K-12 preparatory school called John XXIII College.
The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, popularly known as the Loreto Sisters, are part of the Irish branch of the religious order founded by the English nun Mary Ward (1585-1645) in 1609. Ward was a pioneer in expanding the role of women in religious life. Her vision was to form a teaching order for nuns analogous to that of the Jesuits, a religious order ruled by women where sisters would work outside the convent educating girls. The Institute that she established concentrated on opening schools for girls throughout Europe and in England, even in the midst of persecution. She met opposition, including being excommunicated briefly in 1631, and the closure of her houses and schools and died believing the Institute would not survive. However, over time, the Loreto Sisters gained acceptance, and in the early 1870s the Dublin branch was invited to Australia by a bishop there to establish schools for girls. These schools were progressive for the time, offering serious subjects not usually taught to young women. The order remains active today, guided by their founder’s commitment to the pursuit of excellence in a spirit of freedom, justice and integrity.
Austin H. Platt was born in western Australia. He produced numerous etchings of landmark buildings in Australia during the 1930s and 1940s.
Condition: Generally good with the usual overall toning, light soiling, and wear to margins. Loss in lower margin repaired as professionally rebacked, can be matted out. Image includes artist’s signature, which is illegible.
“John XXIII: About Us.” John XXIII College. http://www.johnxxiii.edu.au/about_us.asp (13 February 2003).
“Loreto Sisters.” St. Bede’s College. http://www.stbedes.melb.catholic.edu.au/home/br/hist/ibvm.html (13 February 2003).