Bishop Daniel Delany (1747 – 1814)
Founder of the Brigidine Sisters
Daniel Delany was born in 1747 and trained in Paris before being ordained as a priest in 1770 while James Cook was mapping our Peninsula shoreline.
Catholic education in Ireland had been denied to the people since the sixteenth century and many of the population suffered from poverty, hunger and drunkenness. Upon his return to Ireland in 1776, Delany was shocked by the lack of education of nearly everyone, especially as he had been an excellent scholar himself. He tried hard to bring back the traditional Catholic education to the community and rather than simply carry out his formal duties as a bishop, he set about organising a Sunday school for adults and children.
He found young men and women willing to create and run the schools and so began the Brigidine Sisters in 1807 and the Patrician Brothers in 1808.
Daniel Delany was fearless, leading public religious processions despite the risk of being arrested and deported. He was a generous man, always serving those in need. The Brigidine sisters gradually increased in numbers and began schools in Ireland and around the world coming to Australia in 1883 and reaching the Peninsula with St Bernadette's Primary School in 1948, Soubirous College in 1951and Our Lady of Lourdes at Woody Point in 1969.
They were named after the patroness of Ireland, St Brigid, who was noted for her generosity and wisdom. They knew that education and faith were the only way to rescue young people from poverty and that the secret of a good school was a place that educated everyone who came, especially the ones who could not afford an education. They also knew that it was important to look after the spiritual lives of students so they would be not only knowledgeable and skilful, but also have a personal depth and faith that made them complete human beings.
SCCC has continued in the spirit of Delany and St Brigid in their faith, generosity and compassion and especially in the way they tried always to act with strength and gentleness, no matter what was happening around them.
"By performing the ordinary duties of your day well you will perfect yourself, and your day will be full of merit and good works."
Bishop Daniel Delany
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