“When I could not see my way God kept my heart full of trust.”…………..Mary MacKillop 1873
Mary MacKillop placed her trust in a good and loving God – a God who would provide in tough times. Mary’s confidence in God was remarkable. One of the Sisters remembered these words of advice, “When I want something very much, I thank God beforehand, for I feel He will certainly grant what He has already been thanked for.”
From an early age Mary heard her mother in diffficult situations say,
“God will provide” and she carried this attitude with her throughout her
whole life. She understood that God was a generous God who was calling her to trust.
Time and time again Mary had to place her trust in this provident God. Often she did not know where she would find the money to begin a new venture or to visit her Sisters. She believed that God would provide whatever was needed in all aspects of her life, be it a fare on the boat from Melbourne to Sydney, food and homes for the Sisters, strength to face opposition and false accusation, or a way through a difficult situation.
God provided her with a true friend in Rome. She wrote to her mother in June 1873:-
“I had not a friend when I left Adelaide, but I knew that God
would raise one. I knew I could not do anything, but I knew
at the same time that God would not let his work want a
friend to advance its interest here, but for that, Monsignor
Kirby is more than I ever dared to expect to find in anyone.”
Mary urged her Sisters to have that same trust in the Providence of God. This required that the Sisters, "do all the good that they could with the means at their disposal and then to leave the rest calmly to God”. (1888)
Through Mary MacKillop’s trust in God WE are urged
to recognise each day as a gift,
and to know that, at times, we will be called
to be the hands and feet that provide for those in need.
© Mary MacKillop—A Window of Hope: Monica Cavanagh rsj, 2010, pages 68-9
Used with permission of the author and publisher: Wilkinson Publishing Pty Ltd, Melbourne
Amidst the seasons of Mary’s life, her faithfulness
to the spiritual life is reflected in five underlying themes:
- the presence of God,
- trust in God,
- the cross,
- the will of God
- reverence for the dignity of all.
Personal story of Australia’s first saint revealed in stunning collection of personal letters. An insightful new book, ‘Mary MacKillop On Mission – to her last breath’, features a collection of carefully selected letters written to and from Mary MacKillop in the final 20 years of her life.
The unique collection of writings focuses on Mary’s correspondence with the pioneering Sisters of Saint Joseph establishing the Josephite Congregation in New Zealand.
Insightfully compiled by Sister Sheila McCreanor, Josephite, educator, author and sociologist, the collection of letters provides a very personal insight into the life and character of one of Australia’s most remarkable women.
“Mary’s letters were not only beautifully written but also incredibly revealing,” says Sister McCreanor.
“Mary shared so much more deeply in her writings than she ever did in conversations.
“Not only do these letters help us better understand the pressures and terrible hardships Mary endured, they also provide a very intimate look into the homesickness, the illness and even the arguments experienced by the Josephites when establishing the Congregation in New Zealand.”
‘Mary MacKillop On Mission – to her last breath’ will be launched by Anne Maria Nicholson, ABC TV news and current affairs journalist, foreign correspondent and former student of two Josephite schools in New Zealand; Our Lady of The Rosary and St Patrick’s parish school.
Journalists are invited to join Anne Maria Nicholson,
Sister Sheila McCreanor, Sister Anne Derwin,
and the Sisters of Saint Joseph
for the launch of
‘Mary MacKillop On Mission – to her last breath’
Friday 12 March
Isabel Menton Auditorium
Mary MacKillop Place
9 Mount St, North Sydney
For all media enquiries and/or requests for a review copy of the book, please contact:
Today is a great day for the Catholic Church in Australia and for the Australian nation at large, with the issuing of the decree confirming the second miracle of Blessed Mary MacKillop, paving the way for her to be declared Australia’s first Saint.
It is always a great joy when the Church recognises in one of its members the creative, saving and sanctifying action of God at work amongst us. It is a particular joy for us in Australia that Mary MacKillop is to be formally recognised in this way.
Mary MacKillop has quite rightly gained a reputation in recent times as ‘The Australian Peoples’ Saint’. Largely, this is because people can relate to her. She was one of us. Born in Melbourne, and fired by a deep desire to serve God and to help alleviate the plight of the poor, Mary was an ordinary person who lived a holy life.
Perhaps it is because of her down to earth nature that we relate to her so well. Mary MacKillop could be feisty and stubborn. She suffered terrible setbacks, discouragement and injustice and yet through all of this her faith in God did not falter. Plagued by ill health for much of her life, she was still able to found a religious institute aimed at serving the poor, particularly in the field of education, which remains a vibrant and active presence in the fabric of Australian life today.
Mary MacKillop is to become a saint not only of the Australian people, but for the Australian people and indeed, for the world. Her motto of “Never see a need without doing something about it” continues to call us forth to action. At a time when real heroes are in short supply, Mary MacKillop is a true inspiration. Her heroism is all the more firm because it is built not on celebrity or sporting skill but on her love for Jesus Christ and a life of dedication to God and her fellow human beings.
We look forward to the announcement of her canonisation with great hope and joy and invite all Australians to take part in the many events which will be planned around the nation to mark this historic occasion.
Media Contact: Debra Vermeer at the ACBC on 0414 880 475
Mary MacKillop now has an official Facebook fan page so that you can keep up with all the latest updates and connect with other fans of Mary.
Official Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-MacKillop/375088382753
In addition to the facebook page, Mary’s latest news is accessible on Twitter along with some reflective and inspirational quotes.
Twitter page: http://twitter.com/stmarymackillop
So come an join in the conversations as we journey towards canonisation!
Welcome to the official blog dedicated to Blessed Mary MacKillop’s canonisation. On this journey to canonisation may we draw inspiration from Australia’s First Saint and from one another.
Last night Australia time, in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that Blessed Mary MacKillop along with five others will be canonised in Rome on 17th October, 2010.
This is the news Australians and many others around the world have been waiting for.
We are delighted that the goodness, the holiness of the life of our Australian Mary MacKillop has been recognised by the Catholic Church throughout the world.
Living among the great social problems of the colonies in the 19th Century Mary MacKillop responded with unbounded generosity to assist those most in need around her.
She did this by founding the Sisters of Saint Joseph. As a nun Mary was able to commit her life to God and to those most poor.
Many young women joined her as Sisters and many others, some Catholics, some from other Christian traditions and some who were Jews, supported and enabled Mary and the Sisters to bring services, hope and consolation to so many people across the length and breadth of this country and New Zealand.
As one of Australia’s great pioneers Mary worked tirelessly throughout her life. She brought faith and education to isolated places and peoples; provided food, shelter and consolation to those hungry, homeless and lonely showed compassion and love to all.
The Catholic Church of the world will celebrate this goodness when the Holy Father canonises Mary on 17th October, 2010.
It is my hope that Mary’s example will continue to inspire many today, especially our young people, to live with the same deep faith in God, the same hope and the same selfless charity.
Mary MacKillop was a bold and pioneering woman. To her all people were equal. To her all people deserved a fair go.Her values and endeavours symbolise and reflect what it means to be Australian.
Mary MacKillop is a relevant model of holiness and service for all of us today. We look forward to celebrating this in Rome and throughout Australia, New Zealand and beyond later this year.
The Postulator, The Sisters of Saint Joseph, The Archdiocese of Sydney and The Australian Catholics Bishops’ Conference are pleased to announce that tonight (Australian time) in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI announced that Blessed Mary MacKillop will be canonised and that the date for the ceremony in Rome is Sunday 17th October.
Mary MacKillop will thereby become Australia’s first recognised saint.
Sister Anne Derwin, Congregational Leader of The Sisters of Saint Joseph, the congregation founded by Mary MacKillop in association with Fr Tenison Woods, says the Sisters are overjoyed at the news.
“The Sisters rejoice with the Australian Church and people on this news. We look forward to the canonisation and give thanks that God did bless our country with such a model of goodness.”
Postulator for the Cause of Mary MacKillop, Sr Maria Casey speaking from Rome, says that this news confirms that Mary’s work and legacy has great relevance in today’s busy world.
“Today it has been recognised that a woman can become a saint in the Australian environment with all its complexities and challenges."
“Mary MacKillop is to be listed among the saints of the Catholic Church. I look forward to the celebration of her goodness when many pilgrims from all over the world come to Rome for the ceremony,” says Sister Maria.
Media conference to be held on: Saturday 20th of February at 9 am
At the Chapel entrance to Mary Mackillop’s tomb
Mary Mackillop Place
7 Mount Street, North Sydney