We know that a saint is someone whose life is lived in intimate union with God, and for God, accepting God’s will in all events of life. (One’s life is examined to be considered worthy by the Church to be honoured and imitated). This is what Mary tried to do throughout her 67 years of life, and she also urged her mother Flora to be a saint. Living holy lives would seem to be in the DNA of the MacKillop family, as their lived history demonstrates.
How do Mary MacKillop’s virtues and values inspire the happenings of everyday life?
Sr Margaret Mary Sexton wrote:
In our world of instant news and information, we are constantly confronted by stories that judge other people. Our media, including social media, gives us conclusions without much examination of facts.
To celebrate 150 years since Mary MacKillop embarked on her first overseas journey (March 1873 – December 1874), the Sisters of Saint Joseph share reflections and details from Mary’s travels to and from Europe – sourced from Mary’s letters and Congregational Archives.
When we celebrated Easter week earlier this year, we were powerfully reminded of pain, isolation and fear all embodied in the women who went to the tomb. The Angel told them “Do not be afraid!” Their pain gave way to hope and, later, joy when they knew that Jesus had risen and visited them.
I was drawn then to read again the excerpts from Mary MacKillop’s diary from August to mid-October 1873. Mary had been in Rome to endeavour to have the Constitutions for the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart approved. The revised Constitutions were eventually completed with the assistance of several priests in Rome and sent to Pope Pius IX for approval. It was expected that the process would take quite some time.
When Australian Catholics learned that they were to have a Plenary Council in 2022, most had a fair idea that it would be about a formal gathering of Church leaders. Not long after when they learned that they were to be involved in a Synod, there was some hesitancy about the terminology.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia the words ‘Synod’ and ‘Council’ are synonymous. Both refer to ecclesiastical gatherings for the discussion and decision of matters relating to faith and morals. In Canon Law (Editions 1983 and onwards), however, the role and authority of Synods are spelled out in Canons 342 – 348 while Councils are covered in Canons 439 – 446. The importance of Synods to the People of God in the modern world, came to the fore as a result of Vatican II (see below).
Inspired by Mary MacKillop’s motto to ‘never see a need without doing something about it’, a team from the Sisters of Saint Joseph in North Sydney is making every step count to raise money for First Nations students undertaking their tertiary studies.
It’s part of a larger Congregational fundraising campaign to support the work of Mary MacKillop Today’s First Nations Tertiary Scholarship. Sisters and staff are coming together to raise funds and seek donations by participating in Stadium Stomps, Women’s World Cup Sweeps, Sausage Sizzles and Cent Sales.
Jane Woolford, CEO of Mary MacKillop Today, invites the Josephite family to celebrate Saint Mary MacKillop’s Feast Day on 8 August as a united community who believe in being fierce in the face of adversity and fair where there is injustice.
Volunteers make an amazing contribution to organisations and communities around the world. Mary MacKillop Today is incredibly lucky to have a community of dedicated and passionate people who volunteer to support its work as a not-for-profit ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.
One inspiring group of volunteers for Mary MacKillop Today are helping to change the world through used stamps… and they have now reached over $500,000 in stamp sales! Sr Helen Saunders shares their story…