Bishop Verdon asked the Dunedin Community of Sisters to establish a convent and school in Mornington.

St Francis Xavier School opened in February, 1919. As there was no building available to be used as a School, the Church was used as classrooms.

The first Sisters to teach at St Francis Xavier School were Sister Camillus, Sister Clement, Sister Columba and Sister Cataldus.

For many months the Sisters had to walk a long distance from the Dunedin Convent to get to school each day, until a house near the school was bought for the Sisters to turn into a convent.

ClassroomEach Friday afternoon the children had to re-arrange the desks and chairs for Mass on Sunday. Then on Monday morning the furniture had to be re-arrnaged back into classrooms. This had to be done every week, until 1929 when a new school was finally opened.

The Sisters taught many local children speech and music. This was important to the Sisters, as this was their only source of income.

The school roll continued to increase, and in 1969 the house next to the school was purchased to cope with the extra children. The photograph shows the junior class in and around their new classroom.

Sisters of Mercy continued to teach at St Francis Xavier until 1984.

The above is an abridged version of the full text. For the full text please read:
Saint Francis Xavier School – Full Text