Marist Brothers Rosalie represents an enduring example of the history of Catholic Education in Queensland, and stands as a testament to the influence and foresight of the great Catholic “architect” and “builder” of Brisbane, Archbishop James Duhig. In 1912 Archbishop Duhig was made adjudicator of Brisbane and then Archbishop of Brisbane in 1917. He instigated a period of great expansion in the Catholic Church resulting in the building and rebuilding of churches, schools and convents that lasted well into until the 1940s. What makes the Archbishop’s vision even more impressive is that the expansion occurred during the financially difficult time of the Great Depression and during uncertain times of World War One and World War Two when young men were at war and construction material and labour was difficult to obtain.
The hills across Brisbane are dotted with Catholic education buildings built on land purchased by the Archbishop during this period as part of his vision for the future. As Archbishop of Brisbane for fifty years, he oversaw the construction of more than four hundred major church buildings.
At the same time as Duhig’s “construction” the Marist order was invited (although the Marists taught at as far back as 1919 in the Rosalie parish), as were the Brigidine Sisters, Christian Brothers, and Josephite nuns to educate the Catholic families of Brisbane in these new buildings, and they became an integral part of Queensland’s religious cultural history.
In line with Archbishop Duhig’s vision the Rosalie monastery was the Marist Order’s first house in Queensland and the foundation stone of the Marist Brothers’ Monastery was officially laid on 29 July 1928 by His Excellency B. Catteneo. The construction was completed and ready for the new school year and was officially opened on 20 February 1929 by Archbishop Duhig. One hundred and thirty-five students were enrolled, a large number coming from the Convent School at Rosalie. The monastery was also used as a boarding residence until 1940.