Dr Rosa MacGinley pbvm.

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Author: Sophie McGrath
Date: Annual 2019
From: Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society(Vol. 40)
Publisher: Australian Catholic Historical Society
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,941 words

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Erudite pioneer in the area of the history of women religious, member of the pioneering Religious Research Centre and a Co-Founder of the Golding Centre for Women's History, Theology and Spirituality at the Australian Catholic University.

Sr Rosa died suddenly on the 11th November 2018 at the Presentation Convent, Herston, Brisbane. Rosa, officially, Mary Rose, was the third child of a close-knit family of four, two boys and two girls, and grew up on a sheep property thirty-two kilometres from Emerald in north-western Queensland. The MacGinley family was one in which a love of learning was nourished--their home was well stocked with bookshelves containing many literary classics especially of an historical nature. Rosa recalled that her father usually read for three or four hours a day throughout his life and it was in this environment that the seeds were sown for her love of literature and history.

Rosa enjoyed her carefree life on the property. While the MacGinley boys attended the small boarding school in Emerald provided by the Presentation Sisters the early education of the two girls was by correspondence under the guidance of their mother, a talented ex-student of the Sisters of Mercy, Rockhampton. According to Rosa school work usually occupied the morning which left ample time for such activities as the riding of her beloved horse. Every few days Rosa and her sister Margaret would ride their horses to collect the mail at the small railway siding of Gindi. The MacGinley family was strongly Catholic with the rosary being part of the family's daily routine and each Sunday they travelled the 32 kilometres of unsealed road to participate in the Mass at Emerald.

After achieving excellent results in the public Queensland Scholarship Examination, Rosa was enrolled at the Presentation Sisters' St Rita's College, Clayfield. Here she excelled, regularly winning prizes in the annual Catholic Readers and Writers essay competition. She passed the Junior and Senior examinations with the highest honours and was awarded an open scholarship to the University of Queensland. However, Rosa felt drawn to the religious life and on 23rd April 1951 entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation at Longreach. Here she spent two years during which time the Novitiate was moved to Manly (Brisbane). Here she completed her final year as a novice before being professed as a Presentation Sister in 1954.

Convent Life and Higher Education

Rosa's first appointment was to St Ursula's College, Yeppoon, a developing boarding and day school. This was a time when the 'hard sciences' of chemistry and physics were being introduced into secondary girls' schools. Rosa responded by studying these subjects herself and introducing them into the curriculum at St Ursula's. After fourteen years at St Ursula's, Rosa was appointed to St Rita's College, Clayfield where she taught for five years. Many years later, it was Maree Ganley, an ex-student of St Rita's College, Clayfield, and a mature-aged student at...

Source Citation

Source Citation
McGrath, Sophie. "Dr Rosa MacGinley pbvm." Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society, vol. 40, annual 2019, pp. 191+. Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.
  

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