This month we pay a special tribute to Saint Mary MacKillop as we celebrate ten years since her canonisation in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI.

As Australia’s first Saint we reflect anew on this woman close to our hearts who demonstrated a passion for justice, a respect for human dignity, the courage of her convictions and feminist leadership is our own Mary MacKillop. She set hearts of the young women who flocked to join her on fire; she was true to her values and unwaveringly acted accordingly.  She knew hardship, illness and concerns about the congregation and her family.  Her life was anchored in the love of the God she trusted and in in providential care she placed her life. As her followers we applaud her place in society, and in the church.  We appreciate the example that she has given us to live by.  May this coming celebration of the ten years since canonisation grant us a deeper understanding of her greatness and holiness and inspire us by her courage and faithfulness.

The Church solemnly proposes models of Christian life with the saints, but it does so while recognising that the people, above all, have already understood this, that certain persons incarnate the Gospel with extraordinary exemplarity, and thus become the spiritual friends of those who encounter them, fascinating guides in the love of God, in faith, in hope. Canonisations are the recognition that God’s Spirit breathes in ordinary people such as Mary,… and bears fruits of virtue that are a source of comfort and light for so many others. Fr Lombardi
At a time when real heroes are in short supply, Mary MacKillop is a true inspiration. Her heroism is all the firmer 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. Australian Bishops Conference 2010

Our down to earth Mary is a Saint many can relate to, being both feisty and fearless yet human and ordinary.  We recognize her saintliness which is an inspiration which offers a vibrancy and active presence for Australians today.

Each of us will have our own jubilant recall of this great event in our lives and in the life of the Church.  Let us all look forward to the celebration with triumphant joy!

Let us take time to ponder the part that St Mary MacKillop plays in our lives by her example of life and her faith in God.

  • Can you recall where you were ten years ago when Mary’s sainthood was proclaimed?  Did you watch the event in Rome, or locally?  Perhaps you caught a glimpse on the nightly news.
  • Is Mary’s influence on your life from her from the love of the people in need, her determination in life’s events or devotion to her family?

Let us celebrate this wonderful woman and ask God’s blessings that we have the strength and inspiration to live the best life we possibly can.

Michele Shipperley rsj