Originally there were four sports houses established in 1970, named after the Gospel writers:- Matthew (Green), Mark (Blue), Luke (Red) and John (Gold). In 1976 the number of teams was reduced to three and these were renamed Lourdes (Blue), Fatima (Red) and Carmel (Green). In 1983 Carmel house was changed from Green to Gold and in 2000 a fourth team MacKillop (Green) was reintroduced.
Each of these names has a reference to Mary. A brief history of each follows.
Lourdes House is named after "Our Lady of Lourdes"
(Feast Day February 11)
The Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, on the 11th of February 1858, at a cave near the river Gave in France. She showed Bernadette a hidden spring and told her to drink and wash from it. Over the next few months she appeared to her on seventeen occasions; sometimes in the presence of others, although only Bernadette could see her. She told Bernadette to tell priests to build a chapel at the spring, and that she should pray for the conversion of sinners. As a result of these visions, Lourdes has become one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in Christian history, with many people claiming the water has miraculous healing powers.
Carmel House is named after "Our Lady of Mt. Carmel"
(Feast Day July 16)
Mount Carmel in the land of Israel has been a symbol of beauty and majesty throughout the ages. Long revered as holy, it became a place set apart for prayer and contemplation by early hermits and prophets, who came to see Mount Carmel as a true symbol of Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church. During the time of the Crusades in the Medieval Church, the Carmelite Order was formed from the rich prophetic and mystical traditions of Mount Carmel, under the patronage of Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, one of the early leaders of the Carmelite Order, promising her protection to all who would devoutly wear the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel.
Fatima House is named after "Our Lady of Fatima"
(Feast Day May 13)
In the small Portugese village of Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children. On six occasions between May and October, 1917, Our Lady appeared to Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. According to an account of the events given by Lucia, Mary entrusted the children with three secrets and encouraged them to do acts of penance and say the rosary every day. Thousands of people came to Fatima upon hearing of the visions, and on October 13, some 70,000 people reportedly witnessed a miraculous solar event. Fatima is now a major site of Marian pilgrimage.
MacKillop House is named after "Mary MacKillop"
(Feast Day August 8)
Mary MacKillop, known also as St Mary of the Cross, was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, in 1842 – the eldest child of Scottish immigrants. In 1861 she moved to the small town of Penola in South Australia, where she met Fr. Julian Tenison Woods. Together they established Australia’s first free Catholic school. In 1866 she co-founded Australia’s first religious order, the Sisters of St Joseph, and took a vow of poverty. Soon there were 17 schools under her care, but Mary’s refusal to abide by the rules of the Bishop in Adelaide led to her excommunication from the church. She was accepted back a year later and eventually shown respect by the Bishops for her work with the poor. Mary was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 October 2010, becoming the first Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint.