About this objectReproduction, full sized, Nuns habit from the order of St Joseph’s made in 2002 from a pattern taken from the last know authentic habit held at Perthville Convent. The habit consists of; black tunic and veil, white guimp, crucifix, rosary beads and belt.
The habit was purpose made to feature at the Museum in the Pioneers Gallery, formally the Millthorpe Convent School, to engage visitors and to tell the story of the building, Sisters of St Joseph and former school story. The Convent School opened in 1922 and closed in 1967.
The habit was made by dressmaker, Jean Murphy, Orange, with the help of Sister Marie Kelly, St Joseph’s Convent, Perthville, in 2001. The project was undertaken by then Museum Curator, Elaine Kaldy.
While the habit is a reproduction it is a significant item for the museum, the St Joseph’s order and indeed the wider Catholic community. It is only 1 of 3 known authentic full habits with accessories.
The habit is a visually recognisable symbol of a Sister and associated teachings and involvement with schools and pastoral care. The words ‘St Joseph’s Sisters’ are also very recognisable since they were (and still are) spread across Australia with convents and school. Heightened with the canonisation, 2010, of Sister Mary McKillop of the Cross, Australia’s first St Joseph’s Sister, and Australian’s first saint.
Researched by Hayley Lavers for Golden Memories Millthorpe Museum, July 2020