It was my privilege to enjoy the love and friendship of Mother Mary of the Cross.
From the first day I met her as Superioress of Mount Street Convent [North Sydney], where I put in my Novitiate, until the day of her death, a period of about twenty years, during which I had many opportunities of knowing her worth.
Mother Mary was a noble woman, blessed with rare vision and holiness. Where the glory to God and duty to others were concerned she was full of moral courage, fearing no human opinion, always acting according to the dictates of conscience.
My first experience of Mother Mary’s charity was one day when going with her as companion to the city. We were waiting at the corner of the street near Mount St Post Office for a tram. A young woman came staggering along and at last reached and rested by the stone on the side of the footpath. Being young and inexperienced I naturally thought the woman was intoxicated but Mother’s quick eye detected something more serious. She said to me ‘Come along dear and see what is wrong with this poor woman.’ On getting up to her we found the woman was very ill. Mother asked if she could do anything for her. The woman said if he could get to the chemist’s nearby as she knew what would relieve her. The three of us then went to the chemist’s where the patient was attended to and we waited until she felt better. This act of Charity on Mother’s part made a lasting impression on the rest of my life.” 
Over the past months we have experienced global turmoil and disasters. In Australia the plight of the nation and the planet have raised out awareness to the absolute need of being connected. We have witnessed amazing heroism, generosity and deep sharing in unbelievably big and small ways.
Mary MacKillop was a person who spent her life reaching out, giving and connecting. God’s presence was a dominant feature of her life. The witness we have experience in a nation’s response is Mary’s call to us in every-day life. God is with us in it all, good or challenging.
- Let us ask ourselves whether Mary MacKillop’s inspirational response of reaching out, giving and connecting can become a natural call to all of us?
- What aspects of Sr Helena’s story enabled you to experience the generous spirit of Mary MacKillop?
- What gift can you express more fully?
Let us light a candle which reminds us that Christ is the light of the world.
Take time to reflect and recount the blessings of the past days.
Pray in gratitude.
Michele Shipperley rsj
 Sister M Helena McCarthy, Tokaanu, NZ. 1 December 1925 p. 71. Excerpts taken from Memories of Mary by those who knew her, Sisters of St Joseph 1925-1926.