Mary MacKillop, an Australian Saint


Sunday morning, together with Fr Massa IMC, we arrived in Sydney. We are being hosted by the Marist Brothers. First time in Australia. 

This morning we visited the tomb of Saint Mary MacKillop, first and only Australian Saint.

As we were praying, one of the Brothers said: "She was excommunicated...". It lasted five months. Not unusual I thought. Saints normally face rejection in one way or another. 
Mary's trust in God's will and Providence enabled her to face the challenges that came both from within the Catholic Church and those endured through the loss of family and dear friends. 
The style of Religious Life was particularly suited to the emerging Australian colonies. Sisters would go out in two's and three's living in and among the people. Everywhere the sisters were welcomed.
Some reflected that they were not proper religious. One particular action which caused tension was the sight of the sisters begging in the streets to support themselves...
In the forward of a book called "Mary MacKillop, a woman before her time" (written by William Modystack) the then Archbishop of Adelaide James W. Gleeson wrote: "It is even more difficult for us to understand how patently good people, committed to living and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as bishops and priests of the Church, could seemingly be so unjust and outrageous in their judgements and actions towards Mary MacKillop"

I suggest you go to their webpage (click HERE) and read how the story continues...


As we were leaving, we were given a relic, a card and a prayer:

Ever generous God,
You inspired Saint Mary MacKillop
to live your mission of bringing hope and encouragement
to those marginalised, disheartened,
lonely, sick and needy.

With confidence in your generous providence
and praying with Saint Mary MacKillop
we place our needs before you:

...

We trust in your loving care for us.
We ask that our faith and hope be fired anew
by your Holy Spirit
so that, like Mary MacKillop,
we may act more justly, love more tenderly
and walk humbly with You.

We ask this through Jesus Christ.
Amen.
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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