Sister Magdalene Carroll

Principal: 1891 – 1914

Born Julia Carroll in Geelong in 1863, She taught before coming to Adelaide and receiving the holy habit of the Order on June 6, 1888. Two years later, Sr Magdalene Carroll was professed as a Sister of Mercy on May 1, 1890.

Very soon after her profession, Sr Magdalene was made principal of what was then known as St. Angela’s Select Intermediate School, together with the Boarding school that commenced in 1892. Apart from being in charge of both these institutions, Sr Magdalene taught full time in both the Junior and Senior classes.

Sr Magdalene Carroll
(Sr Magdalene Carroll, St Aloysius College Archives)
Sr Magdalene Carroll c1922
(Sr Magdalene Carroll c1922, St Aloysius College Archives)

In 1902, Sr Magdalene founded the Mercy Old Scholars’ Association. She also trained the boarders’ choir that sang each Sunday in the cathedral at the nine o’clock mass. Sr. Magdalene was a great believer in physical exercise, requiring twice weekly walks by the boarders and encouraging them to walk about while studying.

Having been elected Reverend Mother, Sr Magdalene retired as principal in 1914. Her tenure as principal was marked by the acquisition by the Mercy Sisters of Angas Street of a reputation as successful educators. Sr Magdalene remained heavily involved in the activities of the Congregation until her death in 1939.


Neville Stapleton
Archivist, St Aloysius College, 2020