On May 3, 1880, twenty four Sisters of Mercy in the charge of Mother Evangelista Fitzpatrick, arrived at Port Adelaide from Argentina. The Sisters had been working in Argentina but due to the unsettled political climate were relocated to Adelaide. Their mission was to establish an apostolate in Adelaide, as well as others in various parts of South Australia as the need and opportunity arose.
Of the original group, twelve Sisters stayed in Adelaide at the current site of St Aloysius College and twelve went to Mt Gambier to establish a Mercy foundation there.
In 2003, Sr Judith Redden, who was Principal of St Aloysius College at the time, wanted to re-establish the connection with Argentina. A music tour consisting of five staff and fifteen music students went to St Ethnea’s school in Bella Vista, a suburb outside of Buenos Aires. It was here that six of the original sisters returned in 1890 and are buried in the grounds of the school. The College was involved in a music tour and four student missions to Argentina from 2003 to 2011.
Over the years, St Aloysius College has built a strong connection with Mercy works in Argentina. Fundraising for Mercy works occurs through the annual Walkathon and Mercy Day Carnival.
Since 2004, St Aloysius College has provided finances in Argentina to:
– Dig a well for fresh water access for 500 people
– Build a community centre to support local families
– Build a family unit in a shelter for women and children suffering from abuse
– Build a kitchen and child care space to help feed up to 80 children daily
– Contributed to the establishment of a seeing eye glass program