OLSH Sisters

The OLSH sisters were founded by a French priest, Fr. Jules Chevalier, who founded the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) in 1854, and the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1874.

Fr. Chevalier

In 1882, Fr. Chevalier appointed Marie Louise Hartzer in charge of the community. In 1884, the first profession ceremony of 5 sisters took place, including that of Marie Louise. Just two years later, in 1884, five sisters set out for the great mission of Oceania. Two had made their vows a few hours before. They had the sum of 25 francs between them, (out of which had to be bought a pair of shoes for one person in Marsaille)!

Fr Chevalier encouraged us to embrace the risk of ‘mission without limits’. Our history is full of heroic stories of our sisters in far-flung places of the world. And here in Australia too, our story is extraordinary. We began in Botany in 1885. In 1886, we went to Thursday Island.

Sr Marie Louise

In 1902 the sisters went to Bowral, to Bowraville in 1905, to Tasmania also in 1905 to the mining town of Mathina and later to the difficult terrain of the west coast. Very early, the sisters also began working with the aboriginal people, firstly in NSW at Menindee and Wilcannia and then in the Northern Territory in 1908 where they have worked for over 100 years. In 1915 they began a school in Ocean Island and in 1935 they went to Nauru. Many sisters also went to Papua New Guinea and to Kiribati. We began work in the Philippines in 1966. In recent years our Australian Province has sent sisters to work in South Africa and Sudan.


The sisters came to Victoria in 1929, at the invitation of the Bishop of Sandhurst and their first residence and school was at Elmore. In 1929 they came to Bentleigh.

OLSH College had its beginnings in 1938 when a commercial class was started by the Sisters at St Paul’s Primary School, Bentleigh. In 1939 the class was moved to a building beside the convent in Jasper Road, and in 1943 it became a Registered Secondary School.

Visit OLSH Sisters Australia Website