Last night Australia time, in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that Blessed Mary MacKillop along with five others will be canonised in Rome on 17th October, 2010.
This is the news Australians and many others around the world have been waiting for.
We are delighted that the goodness, the holiness of the life of our Australian Mary MacKillop has been recognised by the Catholic Church throughout the world.
Living among the great social problems of the colonies in the 19th Century Mary MacKillop responded with unbounded generosity to assist those most in need around her.
She did this by founding the Sisters of Saint Joseph. As a nun Mary was able to commit her life to God and to those most poor.
Many young women joined her as Sisters and many others, some Catholics, some from other Christian traditions and some who were Jews, supported and enabled Mary and the Sisters to bring services, hope and consolation to so many people across the length and breadth of this country and New Zealand.
As one of Australia’s great pioneers Mary worked tirelessly throughout her life. She brought faith and education to isolated places and peoples; provided food, shelter and consolation to those hungry, homeless and lonely showed compassion and love to all.
The Catholic Church of the world will celebrate this goodness when the Holy Father canonises Mary on 17th October, 2010.
It is my hope that Mary’s example will continue to inspire many today, especially our young people, to live with the same deep faith in God, the same hope and the same selfless charity.
Mary MacKillop was a bold and pioneering woman. To her all people were equal. To her all people deserved a fair go.Her values and endeavours symbolise and reflect what it means to be Australian.
Mary MacKillop is a relevant model of holiness and service for all of us today. We look forward to celebrating this in Rome and throughout Australia, New Zealand and beyond later this year.