August 15, 2012
During her life, Mary MacKillop drew all kinds of people to her side and most had desperate needs. August 8th 2012, evidenced that for St Mary MacKillop nothing has changed!
It was a wonderful display of Catholic faith to be part of those huge crowds, of over 4000, gathering at the three Masses. Marie Carson rsj, Coordinator of Pastoral Care said, “The crowds began arriving around 7am in great numbers. The chilly weather didn’t stop people coming to join in the celebrations. The young, the old, the sick and the well all came with their special requests and words of thanks.”
“Profound silence and reverence among the congregation was nothing short of inspirational as people participated in the Eucharist and then, their singing was second to none. It was such a privilege to meet great numbers of ‘pilgrims’ as they queued so prayerfully for an opportunity to approach St Mary’s Tomb to present their needs and thanks”, said Elizabeth Crilley rsj. “Many showed that life’s circumstances were burdensome but in their eyes, was the light of hope and complete trust that St Mary would intercede with God on their behalf.”
Niesha Allpor rsj, Coordinator of Volunteers, said, “We had a magnificent day, sunshine, over 4000 visitors and a team that worked well together to make sure the day was filled with the spirit of Mary, hospitality, kindness and enjoyment of the community!” The 60 plus volunteers gave their time, participating in a wide range of activities from standing in the cold directing visitors to the entrance of Mary MacKillop Place, to serving food and guiding visitors inside the chapel.
Christine Richards, Education Coordinator said, “Visitors enjoyed their time exploring the museum galleries and historic Alma Cottage – Mary MacKillop’s home in Sydney. The museum’s new interactive touch table device was very popular, engaging visitors young and old.”
Mai Nguyen, Central Event Coordinator summed up her experience in the following poem:
From heaven looking down to earth,
Mary MacKillop sings “Alleluia! Let the day begin.
Cutting the sharp winter cold,
Walking up the hill,
The young, the aged, the walkers, the wheelchairs and the lonely,
We all come from different directions,
But we all have one faith and one purpose,
Let us celebrate our first saint's Feast Day.
Then I hear God whisper to the crowd,
“Let’s live an ordinary life,
To become the next Australian saint,
This is my challenge for you.”
So who will be the next,
The answer is yours!
Congratulations to the organisers, the liturgists, the volunteers, Fr. Graeme and all who contributed to make August 8th a most memorable experience.