House Value: Stewardship

House Image: Healing Vines of Stewardship

House Mascot: Dragon

House Colour: Red

House Day: 15 August (the date when Mary took her vows at Penola and became Sr Mary)

Penola House is named after Penola, a small South Australian town, 400 kilometres southeast of Adelaide. The town gained international recognition as the workplace and one-time home of Mary MacKillop. In the 1860s Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods shared a dream of providing free Catholic education for poor rural children. This school would open its doors to everyone without care for social standing or religious affiliation. Putting their trust in God, Mary and Julian co-founded the uniquely Australian, Sisters of Saint Joseph, in Penola. Their dream became a reality that was to transform lives throughout Australia, New Zealand and other countries around the world. "Little did either of us then dream of what was to spring from so small a beginning." (Mary MacKillop 1873)

The Woods MacKillop Schoolhouse in Penola was initially stable and is now on the Heritage and State Register as a schoolroom museum. It is a very special place where Mary MacKillop's youthful presence can still be felt and is evidence of her commitment to God through a life devoted to others; her vulnerability and self-doubt; her competence as a teacher, her vitality; her sense of humour; her serenity. 

Penola House embraces Stewardship through:

•  Conservation
•  Empathy 
•  Inclusivity 

Members of Penola House are united by their acceptance of others, their intense compassion and nurturing of each other and their passionate quest for the preservation of our world.

The House colour is red which symbolises vibrancy, strength, new life, a willingness to give to others, heartfelt love, compassion, and a passionate desire for inclusiveness. In Catholicism, red is the colour of the “Sacred Heart”. The House mascot is the Dragon “Penny” which represents the patroness of warriors, the valiant defender.


Penola Prayer

God of new beginnings, you set fire in the hearts of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods,

 a vision and dream to meet the urgent needs of their day.

 They founded a group of Catholic Sisters, the Josephites,

who would bring freedom and justice to thousands and thousands of Australians.

We pray today that we may know deep within us what you desire for each of us.

 We pray for the whole Josephite family, of whom we part,

that we will live the Josephite values of compassion, tolerance and love.