In 1894, a Mr Robert Lane migrated to Australia and settled in a bark and slab hut, which was replaced in 1915 by a building of brick walls and iron roof. Named “Mt Pleasant”, the home and property were, at that time, located on Bowen Bridge Road between Thondley and Bowen Streets. This section is now named Roblane Street after Mr Robert Lane.
On the 18th August, 1925 the site and buildings were acquired by Archbishop Duhig for the princely sum of 1,750 pounds. Initially Mass was celebrated in one of the property’s houses, however following many fund raising effort preparations were made for the erection of a church-school. The foundation stone was laid by Mgr James Byrne (later first Bishop of Toowoomba) on 1st August, 1926. The building was later blessed and opened on October 10, 1926 by Archbishop Duhig.
Following extensions the church building, the Holy Rosary School was officially opened in 1929. The Sisters of St. Joseph were welcomed to the Windsor parish by Archbishop Duhig at Mass on 27th January 1929, and the school was formally opened the next day. A total of 120 students attended on opening day.
Archbishop Duhig’s dream of a “very beautiful church” was realised in 1953. The Sisters of St. Joseph were sadly farewelled from Holy Rosary School at the close of 1977 after 49 years in the service of Catholic education in the parish.
Since 1978 lay leadership and staff have played a key role in the development of Holy Rosary School. Continuing in the spirit of the Josephite Sisters, the school and community have welcomed those who seek a caring, Catholic school community where educational growth is balanced with pastoral care for all. During the 1980’s and into the 1990’s the school community has worked hard to maintain its mission and to gain recognition as a viable and valuable school. In July 1997, the mammoth effort of parents, staff and friends found its reward in the naming of the school by the Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, Mr Vince O’Rourke, as one of “distinctive character” with a particular focus on Reconciliation through education.
From 1998 the school is under the auspices of Brisbane Catholic Education as an Archdiocesan school, rather than as a Parish school.
In 2013 Holy Rosary School took the new name Saint Mary of the Cross School in honour of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s contribution to education in Queensland. Archbishop Mark Coleridge announced the new name at a special Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral to commemorate St Mary MacKillop’s feast day.