Archived News Item

Sister Helen Delaney RSM launches book honouring the work of Bernardine Carr RSM

Mary Stainsby RSM with five of Bernardine Carr’s great nieces and nephews – Susan Daily IBVM, Tim Doyle, Judy Hindle, Peter Doyle and Ann Forehan.


More than 60 people gathered at Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy on Friday afternoon, April 26, for the launch of ‘An expression of the Divine Spirit: the artwork of Bernardine Carr RSM’, written by Dr Mary Stainsby RSM. The date was significant as it marked 121 years since the birth of Sr Bernardine and her twin brother, Michael.


Guests were welcomed by Marie Ralph RSM, South C Community Leader. Following a time of reflection and an Acknowledgement of Country, Dr Helen Delaney RSM officially launched the book. Sr Helen noted the contribution of many women religious to the Arts, their work often remaining anonymous, as was the custom at the time. She congratulated Mary Stainsby RSM for her perseverance, insight and diligence in finding Bernardine’s artwork and bringing her story to light.


Sr Mary was hospitalised during the week prior to the launch so it was wonderful that she was able to be there for a couple of hours to celebrate her achievements with sisters, family and friends, and five of Bernardine Carr’s great nieces and nephews. Madeleine Fox RSM delivered the speech Mary had prepared for the occasion, on her behalf. Mary expressed her gratitude to many people who had assisted her during the 21 years she was engaged in the project, acknowledging the original request from Helen Delaney to research Bernardine’s artwork.


Mary Moloney RSM, Principal at Academy of Mary Immaculate, expressed her great pride in hosting the launch, given that Bernardine spent most of her active ministry as an artist and art teacher at Academy and that Mary Stainsby RSM is a past pupil.


After the ceremony concluded, guests enjoyed refreshments and had the opportunity to view a display of the art work created by winners of the Academy’s annual student art prize named in honour of Bernardine Carr RSM.


Bernardine Carr RSM was a member of the former Melbourne Congregation. She was a gifted artist, teacher of art and liturgical artist who spent most of her religious life in the Fitzroy community, teaching at Academy of Mary Immaculate. She was also renowned for her skills in heraldry, creating many Coats of Arms. Sr Bernardine died in 1967.


Messages to: Mary Stainsby RSM


Mary Stainsby RSM, Mary Moloney RSM and Annette Schneider RSM.



Mary Stainsby RSM and Marie Ralph RSM.


Mary Stainsby RSM with her nephew Robert and niece Frances.