Kinsale, Cork, Ireland
- 15 October 1901
Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia
- Alternative Names
- Mother Scholastica
Born and educated in Ireland, Geraldine Gibbons arrived in Sydney, New South Wales with her family in 1834. She and a sister joined the newly-arrived Sisters of Charity, and on 17 July 1847 Geraldine was professed as Scholastica, beginning work in the Female Factory at Parramatta. On 9 April 1848 she went to Sydney to establish a home for penitent women in Campbell Street. The home was moved to Carter's Barracks in Pitt Street in March 1849.
At around the same time, the Archbishop of Sydney, John Bede Polding decided to found an order following Benedictine rules but suited to Australian conditions. He found a group of volunteers and requested Mother Scholastica to be superior of both orders. On 2 February 1857 she helped to establish the Community of the Good Shepherd which took the name of the Good Samaritan to avoid confusion with a similar congregation in Europe. She acted as a Novice Mistress and Superior for the Good Samaritans for nearly ten years, wearing the habit of the Charity order while living with the Good Samaritans. Both the Samaritans and the Sisters of Charity prospered under her leadership.
Sources used to compile this entry: Duffy, C. J., Gibbons, Geraldine Scholastica (1817-1911), Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A040272b.htm.