Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer

16 May -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of any Saint, page 527

Caroline Jones was born in 1808. On her marriage to Archibald Chisholm, she took her husband's Roman Catholic faith. They emigrated to Madras in 1831 where she set up a school for soldiers' daughters. In 1838, the family moved to Australia and, almost immediately, Caroline began to work for the vulnerable immigrants arriving at Sydney. She was especially concerned for the women, who were often lured and bullied into brothels. She set up a free Registry Office to help them obtain legitimate work and a shelter and she campaigned for improved conditions. She returned to Britain in 1846 to press for emigration reform and founded the Family Colonisation Loan Society. Her Christian ministry and action led to the ending of what had virtually been the institutionalisation of the abuse of poor women.