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History of the Chapel

The Cunningham Memorial Chapel is located within the grounds of St Aloysius College and was originally part of the Convent of Mercy.

The history of the Cunningham Memorial Chapel, the Convent of Mercy in Angas Street and St Aloysius College are inextricably linked.

The Sisters of Mercy in South Australia were founded in 1880 by a group of 24 Sisters (some Irish, others Argentinean) who were forced to leave Buenos Aires, Argentina because of political unrest. Soon after their arrival in Adelaide the Sisters purchased a two storey house in Angas Street as their convent and school. Twelve of the Sisters remained in Adelaide and twelve moved to Mount Gambier.

In 1912, Mother Mary Cecilia Cunningham inherited a considerable fortune from her mother in Argentina. She travelled to Argentina in 1912 to organise the financial affairs. Mother Mary Cecilia’s return to Adelaide was delayed by World War I and she finally returned in 1919 with her considerable inheritance.

The chapel was built in 1922, following a bequest from Mother Mary Cecilia Cunningham. The Argentinean bequest also facilitated the purchase of land surrounding the Convent of Mercy and the development of more school buildings for St Aloysius College.

Until July 2005, the Cunningham Memorial Chapel was used daily by the Sisters of Mercy who lived in the Convent of Mercy on Angas Street. The Chapel is now used by students and staff of St Aloysius College.