Beatification of Mary MacKillop Anniversary

Pope John Paul II to Australia for the Beatification of Mary MacKillop during Mass at Randwick, 19/1/1995. [1]
The Beatification of Mary MacKillop took place on 19 January 1995. To commemorate the anniversary of Mary MacKillop’s Beatification, Sr Eleanor Capper shares her experience of that memorable day.

My first impression goes back to the morning prayer held in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney before the beatification, when Pope John Paul II came to officiate at this event. The presence of the pontiff at such a gathering was awe inspiring, with some of our Sisters able to meet him personally.

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Mary MacKillop: Gifted and Graced

Young Mary MacKillop.

No doubt 15 January 1842 was a day of celebration for Flora MacKillop (nee MacDonald) and Alexander MacKillop and their extended family on the birth of their first daughter in Merino Cottage, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Mary MacKillop’s parents were Highland Scots, Alexander MacKillop arriving in Sydney in January 1838 and Flora MacDonald in April 1840. Father Geoghegan blessed their marriage on 14 July 1840 and baptised the child Maria Ellen, [1] known as Mary Helen, on 28 February 1842.

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Christmas now, with Mary MacKillop

Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney.

Christmas is near. With such joy, we celebrate the birth of a Child, a reminder that we are all children of a lavishly loving God who, in Jesus, chose to have no boundaries between divinity and humanity!

Following Jesus, Mary MacKillop lived in a way that held no boundaries around her love for God and her love for humanity. Love is love is Love.

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30th Anniversary of Reinterment of Mary MacKillop in the New Shrine

Mary MacKillop’s new tomb 1993.

The date, 20 December 1993, is etched in my memory not only because it was my mother’s 77th birthday but also because I was witness to an exuberant outpouring of excitement, adoration and awe.

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We are but travellers here

“We are but travellers here!” These words of St Mary MacKillop tell the story of those who have walked through the doors of St Joseph’s House of Studies in Lyneham since it opened in 1969.

This House, once a home for Sisters of Saint Joseph in training, was reopened in June 2020 as MacKillop House, a place of refuge and safety for homeless women.

As one of the first residents of the House of Studies it is a privilege to be involved once again with this special place.

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Come and stay at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre, East Melbourne!

Front of the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre
Apartment lounge
Apartment bedroom

Are you planning a trip to Melbourne this festive season? If so, we welcome you to come and stay at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre in East Melbourne.

Situated in the heart of Melbourne, the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre offers visitors a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of the Melbourne CBD, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a place of peace, calmness, and serenity.

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In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop at Kincumber

Pilgrims in the Chapel at St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Kincumber South.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a group of parishioners from Morpeth (in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese) and lead them on a pilgrimage In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop at St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Kincumber South situated on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have maintained a significant link to Kincumber since Mary MacKillop and the Sisters first established this site as a home for boys in 1887.

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Circumstances call Mary MacKillop to Sydney… 140 years ago

First photograph of the new Convent and Chapel in Kensington 1876. Sisters of Saint Joseph SA Archives.

Mary MacKillop was a prolific letter writer to her Sisters as they spread across Australia and New Zealand. She provided encouragement, practical and spiritual advice. Her letter dated 13 November 1883 was a very personal one to the Sisters in South Australia.

What were the circumstances which led to her leaving Adelaide at short notice?

  • Attitudes of the clergy
  • Difficulties in communication

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