At the heart of Mary MacKillop Place located in North Sydney, New South Wales, is the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel. The Chapel was built in 1913 in memory of Mary MacKillop and shortly after, it was dedicated by the Archbishop Michael Kelly in 1914. Mary’s body was exhumed from the Gore Hill Cemetery and reinterred in the Chapel.
However, the story of Mary MacKillop Place begins before this. In 1883, Mary MacKillop was banished from Adelaide and travelled to Sydney where Sisters we already ministering. For a time, Mary resided at the Providence in Cumberland Street, The Rocks.
I’m so thankful to be part of the Josephite family and share stories with you about the work we’re doing at Mary MacKillop Today. Like you, I am truly inspired by the extraordinary ‘can help’ spirit of Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of Saint Joseph who travelled to set up schools in Australia’s remote communities.
But as you know, Mary’s work isn’t yet finished. Many children and adults are still unable to break the cycle of poverty because they can’t access education. And together, with our shared calling to uphold Mary’s legacy, I know we can continue her mission today.
A Message from Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Saint Joseph.
Greetings for the feast of Saint Mary MacKillop (8 August).
As we join in celebrating Mary MacKillop’s feast this year, we are called to embrace the values that were at the heart of all she did. Her deep love for those she encountered along the journey of life came from knowing that she was the beloved of God. She was described by her Sisters as being a big-hearted woman whose love knew no boundaries.
“After two years of disruption due to COVID, we look forward to welcoming pilgrims and supporters to Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney,” says Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.
“Mary MacKillop Place is a site unlike any other because Mary lived, died and is buried here.”
The phone rang as I was locking up the house before going to Saturday night Mass. It was the bishop wanting to know if I would go to a country town, 400 kilometres away to train people in leading Liturgy of the Word with Communion.
The parish had recently lost their priest, with no replacement available in the diocese. I assured the bishop that I would go. This was a call something like Mary MacKillop had envisaged for the Sisters of Saint Joseph long ago.
In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop – Bookings for Australian National Pilgrimage Now Open
Mary MacKillop Place and the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart are delighted to welcome back pilgrims to its popular Australian National Pilgrimage: In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop. The next pilgrimage will be running from 18 – 29 October 2022 and will visit many places associated with Mary MacKillop’s life and ministry in Victoria, South Australia and Sydney.
The Pilgrimage is run by Mary MacKillop Place and will be led by a Sister from the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the inaugural Director of the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre, East Melbourne.
During the month of June, we have the opportunity as followers of Mary MacKillop, to recall and celebrate the great feast days of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (24 June) and St John the Baptist (25 June).
Our Josephite constitutions expresses Mary’s hope that:
Jim Phelan recently completed the ‘Aussie Camino’ and shares his experience with us.
The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage walk inspired by the life and journeys of Sisters of Saint Joseph founders St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods. It is an opportunity for participants to embark on a contemplative journey, visit scenic places, meet and connect with new people. The walk begins in Portland, Victoria and ends in Penola, South Australia covering over 150 kilometres.