Mary MacKillop 1882.

All people who know of Mary MacKillop are familiar with her loving and compassionate personality, a woman with a strong desire to live out the teachings of the Gospel.

Throughout her life, Mary accompanied many people during moments of hardship as well as moments of great happiness. She offered friendship to all, truly leading a life that placed her in the Grace of God.

For so many, Mary is the ultimate embodiment of Christ’s love for humanity through her “zeal for the poor and marginalised”. [1] Her empathy and compassion for children and young people in particular highlights how genuine concern and love for those who are placed on the edges of society can bolster the fight for social justice and equality.

Although Mary was a woman who lived many years ago, her legacy lives on. The Josephite Charism is being actively lived out by many in the Josephite Community. This Charism inspires all to lead a life with bold hope and compassionate courage, just as Mary did.

Today, the Josephite Community in the Josephite Action Group (JAG) and the Josephite Justice Network (JJN) embody this Charism via advocacy work and direct action that reacts to and challenges unjust structures that uphold inequalities and erode the quality of life of those who are placed on the edges of society. These groups firmly uphold the legacy of Mary MacKillop as they shine a light upon social issues that would otherwise continue to be figments of reality to many people in society. Social issues, just to name a few, include: the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, housing and homelessness as well as the inequalities faced by First Nations Peoples.

As a young person who has had the privilege of having a Josephite education, Mary MacKillop inspires me to be determined, considerate and respectful. She was a woman ahead of her time, who respected those who treated her harshly whilst being a devout Catholic and a passionate educator who placed a strong importance on providing education for underprivileged children and young people. Her legacy inspires me to help others who are less fortunate than myself and show compassion to everyone regardless of their race, colour, or faith and those who are neglected from society. Mary MacKillop has inspired me to lead a life where I “never see a need without doing something about it.”Mary, a young Josephite school student

There is so much in the legacy of Mary MacKillop that can inspire people to walk in the love of Christ to create change and ensure a just future. Mary’s simple way of living as well as her fervent and undeniable love of God can be a great tool for all Christians to be people of action and purpose, people who “love one another, bear with one another and let charity guide them all their life”. It is undeniable that Mary MacKillop’s legacy shines a light upon the unseen.

Emilia Nicholas
JAG Volunteer
Josephite Justice Network

[1] Pope at Audience: St. Mary MacKillop brought Christ’s love to rural Australia by Devin Watkins, Vatican News: