Our History

Whitefriars Catholic School began as a Church/School in 1912.

Originally named “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart” the name “Whitefriars”, which reflects the Carmelite Fathers' connection with the School, was given to the school in 1933. At that time Woodville was in the Carmelite Parish of Alberton. “Whitefriars” was the old English name of the Carmelite Fathers, to distinguish them from the 'Blackfriars' or Dominican Fathers.

The Sisters of St Joseph have staffed the school and provided a Catholic Education on this site since 1912 and the spirit of the Josephites lives on strongly in the school community today.

School Emblem

Our school emblem contains elements from both our Josephite tradition and our Carmelite heritage. The outline of the emblem is that which is used by Josephite Schools - that is, those schools in which the Sisters of Saint Joseph have worked in the past. The words 'In All Things Kindness' are a translation of the Josephite motto - 'In Omnibus Caritas' and we try to reflect this in our relationships with one another and with our environment.

The three stars from the Carmelite emblem are depicted. The top two stars represent the Prophets Elija and Elisha. The bottom star represents Our Lady of Mount Carmel. When the Carmelite tradition was established it followed the contemplative way of life of the Prophets Elija and Elisha, and was on Mount Carmel in Israel - overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Sisters of Saint Joseph

The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph was founded by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, together with Fr Julian Tenison Woods, in South Australia in 1866. Mary and Julian saw the need to provide an education for children.

The Sisters and others who have followed in Mary's footsteps have continued this tradition across Australia and New Zealand and beyond.

When the school opened in 1912 the Josephite Sisters were asked to staff Whitefriars Catholic School. Until the 1960s the school was staffed entirely by the Sisters. Today Whitefriars remains strongly connected to the Sisters and their mission of education of children.

More information regarding the Sisters of Saint Joseph is available on their web site: https://www.sosj.org.au/.