The charism of the Society of Sisters, FCJ is steeped in Ignatian spirituality. The Society was founded in France in 1820 by Marie Madeleine d’Houet. As missionary women of the Church, they arrived in Australia in 1882 and by the turn of the century had three secondary schools at Richmond (Vaucluse 1882), Kew (Genazzano 1889) and Benalla (1900).
In 1900, six FCJ Sisters, accompanied by the Mother Superior, travelled to Benalla at the invitation of the Parish Priest, Dean Owen Davy. Following a 5 hour train journey, they were greeted by Dean Davy and parishioners, with a procession to the Church. The date of their arrival was arranged to coincide with the eve of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.
Three days after their arrival sisters began teaching at St Joseph’s Primary School and on 20th August 1900 received the first students at the new Ladies’ College conducted at Our Lady of the Angels Convent.
110 years of Catholic education
The FCJ Sisters provided boarding facilities for primary and secondary aged children at the Convent. In 1960 the College became co-educational and its name ‘Ladies College’ was no longer appropriate and aptly renamed FCJ College. The boarding house closed at the end of 1981 to provide for more school rooms.
FCJ College celebrated its Centenary in 2000 and in 2001 reinstated senior classes. Today, FCJ College is a co-educational College for year 7-12.
In 2010 FCJ College celebrated 110 years of Catholic education, with a dramatisation of the arrival of the Sisters in Benalla and a successful school reunion. In 2011 the College became an incorporated entity. The FCJ Society continues to govern the school and is active in the College with Directors on the College Council and participation in a range of school activities.
Enacting the Charism today
At FCJ College we enact the charism of the FCJ Society and our faith in the daily life of the school. We value and respect the uniqueness of each person, encouraging people to act with courage, confidence and compassion.
For more information on the FCJ Society visit www.fcjsisters.org. Please find other news from the society below.