St Joseph's School Houses
McAuley –Venerable Mother Catherine McAuley
Catherine McAuley is the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Though the work of the Sisters of Mercy began in Ireland in about 1824, the order was founded a few years later in about 1830. Small groups of Sisters came out from Ireland to other countries, like New Zealand. They came to Te Aroha where they began teaching and carrying out their good works here.
Sheeley – Father William Sheeley
Father Sheeley was the first non-Irish priest in Te Aroha. He was a New Zealander. He left Te Aroha in 1940 to go to war where he elected to become a prisoner of war and became a chaplain to the men in his camp. When he returned he became Parish Priest and was so for 20 years, from 1951-1971.
O'Reilly – Monsignor Patrick O'Reilly
In 1880 the first Holy Mass was celebrated in Te Aroha in the dining room of Lawerence House on the banks of the Waihou River. The celebrant was Mons O'Reilly and his congregation numbered about 20 people. When the first Church was built, Mons O'Reilly became the Parish Priest and was so until 1886.
Liston – Bishop James Liston
Though classes began in 1904 and were taught by the Sisters of Mercy, these classes were taken in the convent, 'Our Lady of Lourdes'. In 1930, this all changed and the school building was built for 6,500 pounds. The building was blessed and opened by Bishop Liston, the Bishop of the Auckland Diocese from 1929-1970 (a staggering 41 years as Bishop!).