A SPECIAL mass was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday to farewell the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood.
Sister Helen Doyle said the international congregation had withdraw from the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst.
Sister Doyle said it was a sad occasion but time to move on.
"It is a hard thing to say goodbye," she said.
"It's been 54 years, so it's very sad.
"But it's the end of our time here."
The congregation were responsible for the establishment of Mount Alvernia Mercy Hospital, now known as St John of God Hospital, in 1959 and the construction of St Mary of the Angels primary school in Nathalia.