S+L logo

Remembering Mary MacKillop, Australia's First Saint

October 6, 2010
As you know, I’ve been working the past few months on the documentary on Brother André, God’s Doorkeeper.  We’ve also been looking forward here at Salt + Light to Br. André’s canonization on October 17th.
SAINT-AUSTRALIA/MACKILLOPTo do some justice to at least one other saint to be canonized by the Church that same day (after all, there are six in total), I must bring up Mary MacKillop of Australia.
I “met” Mary MacKillop right after World Youth Day 2008 in Australia, when Kris Dmytrenko, Richard Valenti and I retraced her footsteps in Adelaide.  From that great experience in Australia and getting to know Australia’s first saint, we produced a documentary last year.
In preparing for the canonization coverage on October 17th, I was looking back at my script for the documentary on Mary MacKillop.  I’d like to bring up one important thing I realized.  Both Brother André and Mary MacKillop had a great devotion to Saint Joseph!  In fact, the congregation Mary founded is the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.
It was on March 19th, 1866, on the feast of St. Joseph, that Mary established her first Josephite school.  St. Joseph was Mary’s model of the humble and hidden life (even note the St. Joseph statue in the photo!).  Just like Br. André, she suffered from physical illness that she had to bear despite all the demands of her travels, letter writing and many other responsibilities.
And like Br. André, Mary had a great devotion to the cross.  Br. André did build Saint Joseph’s Oratory, but at the heart of his spirituality is the love of the Crucified Christ.  When Mary made her vows, she took on the name ‘Mary of the Cross’.  She took comfort in the Cross, and there she found her peace.
One of the sisters described what she remembered most from Mother Mary of the Cross:
It was her peace… a deep, endless kind of peace that came from far inside.  Oh, she was often in pain, often tired; she knew disappointments and worries in plenty… but the peace was always there.
Australia, and the rest of the Church, has much to be proud of in Mary MacKillop!
Watch for a segment about Blessed Mary MacKillop on the Thursday, October 7th edition of daily Perspectives.
Related posts
Beatification Mass of Fr. Solanus Casey: Homily of Cardinal Angelo Amato
Click here to watch the full mass On Saturday, November 18, 2017, at the Ford Field Stadium in Detroit, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, beatified Fr. Sola ...read more
Opening the Doors of Tenderness: The Lessons of Solanus and André
Two simple, holy doorkeepers This Saturday, along with Fr. Richard Fragomeni, I will have the privilege of being commentator for the Beatification Mass of Capuchin Friar Solanus Casey in Detroit’s F ...read more
Wanted: Extreme Revolutionaries of Holiness
A Reflection for All Saints Day Is there room for God in our world today?  Is there room for God in Canada today?  Is there room for more extreme revolutionaries of holiness in our culture today?  ...read more
Being Christian is not the Result of an Ethical Choice
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – October 29th, 2017 Today’s first reading from Exodus (22:21-27) and Matthew’s Gospel story about the greatest commandment (22:34-40) challenge us ...read more
Dr. Thérèse, Heal us and pray for us!
Thérèse Martin was born on January 2, 1873, in France. After their mother died, her two older sisters, Pauline and Marie, entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux. These losses plunged young Thérè ...read more