Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Erin
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Posted: Aug 08 2005 at 7:29am | IP Logged Quote Erin

Today was the Feast of Blessed Mary Mackillop!

I realise many outside of Australia may not have heard of her, but it was a special day for us here. She will be the first cannonized saint of Australia (when her process is completed). I have a particular love of her as I was taught by the 'brown Joey's' (the order of nuns she started).

Mary Mackillop was born in Melbourne. Her family fell on tough times financially so they were moved around amongst relatives. There were eight children in the MacKillop family, Mary was the oldest. When she was a teenager she went governessing becoming the main bread winner of her family. Fortunately she liked teaching.

A few years later an aunt asked for her to travel down to Penola in South Australia to teach down there. It was in Penola that she met Father Woods, this meeting was the beginning of God's plan. Mary was most concerned for the poor children in the rural areas and the outback as they did not receive a Catholic education and therefore many would be lost from the Faith. Father Woods also saw this as a great need.

With the encouragement of Father Woods, Mary started a Catholic school with the help of two of her sisters. One day she dressed in a plain black dress, signifying her vocation. After the Bishop approved of her undertaking she was addressed as Sister Mary. In those days nuns did not live amongst the people but in convents, so the idea was rather different and many did not approve.

Many women were attracted to the life and Rule. As well as teaching the children, especially the poor the sisters looked after the elderly women and orphans. The sisters came under the patronage of Saint Joseph and were known as the Josephite sisters. They were in great demand and convents were set up in many remote areas and the larger cities.

Mary had taken the name Mary of the Cross, and her cross indeed became heavy. Father Woods who had been her dear friend became overworked, and harrassed financially. He caused problems for the sisters. Three of the sisters were claiming to have attacks from the devil and causing upheveal in the convent, whilst Mother Mary was away. She came back to many problems.

Also her Bishop who had previously approved of their Rule now recinded. He wanted the sisters to have two types of nuns, those who taught and those who did the domestic work. This worked in the big convents but was not of the Way the nuns had chosen. Practically it wouldn't work in the outback convents where there were only a few nuns. Also Bishop Sheil wanted the nuns to answer to him not to a Superior General. As the Sisters were looking at all of Australia and not just individual dioseces this wasn't what they envisaged.

Mother Mary wrote him a letter explaining that although she wished to be obedient she could not except changes to the Rule and remain in the Order of Saint Joseph. Bishop Sheil was at this time ill and old. Previously he had been good to the sisters.He ordered Mother Mary to leave to visit another convent. She replied that she wished to she him before leaving as she needed to discuss a few things first. He felt that she was being disobedient, early the next morning he arrived at the convent and summonded all the Sisters together and excommunicated her!!!

He then asked all the nuns to change their Rule of Life to what he wanted. Every single nun, polietly declinded. The convent was closed, the nuns were out!! All schools closed etc. Can you imagine the scandal!!! Wow!

Several months later on his deathebed the Bishop lifted the excommunication. Through all these trials Mother Mary bore it all with humility and charity. When all the sisters came together again it was decided that they must go to Rome and have their rule officially approved, which it was.

The Order spread throughout Australia. Many an Australian Catholic owes their Faith to the 'brown Joey's' and Mother Mary.

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JennGM
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Posted: Aug 08 2005 at 8:53am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Erin wrote to me about Mary MacKillop and I confess, I didn't know a thing about her.

I'm so glad you posted this! I think you should also share the great ways you celebrated this feast with your children...including the recipe for golden syrup pudding!

I'm just passing along a few links I found on this AUS saint: Sisters of St. Joseph This site is a goldmine! Here are some great links from the site:

Emblem of the Sisters of St. Joseph...drawn from St. Mary's life.

Prayer of the Church for August 8, feast of St. Mary. This is a pdf file...but this has the prayers for 2005 to use with the Liturgy of the Hours.

Educational resourcesincluding puzzles and word finds and other great "educational" things on her.

More resources Some of this was a little wishy-washy (Erin told me that some Catholics with more liberal tendencies sometimes twist her life to support their cause), but it was a great source for pictures, sayings, images of Bl. Mary and even a song. A very well-done site!

Patron Saints Index: Mary MacKillop

I saw on Patron Saints Index that eucalyptus is one of her symbols....that would be a neat thing to incorporate in the decorations or crafts for this saint. (Although caution for younger children.)

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Erin
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Posted: Aug 09 2005 at 12:46am | IP Logged Quote Erin

jenngm wrote:
I think you should also share the great ways you celebrated this feast with your children...including the recipe for golden syrup pudding!


We started the day with a hymn called 'Mother Mary of the Cross' from our Cantabile Singers CD's ( a set of 6 CD's of Traditional hymns, with many Australian ones. These are produced by a young homeschool graduate and a youth choir.)

We later read "Derring Do Mary' a lovely living book writtten for children by a Josephite nun Sr M Mary. Whilst I read the children coloured in a picture of Mary MacKillop.

For tea we had favourite dish and golden syrup pudding for dessert. The children told Dad Mother Mary's story, ds,6 told Dad that she was 'executed'

Golden Syrup Pudding
2 level tbsps of syrup
3oz of butter
3oz of sugar
1 egg beaten
5oz of SR Flour, sifted
2 tbsps milk (approx)

Boil water in steamer

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, flour then milk.
Place golden syrup in bottom of basin, then fill basin 2/3 full with mixture.

Cover with foil, tie with string and steam for 2 hrs.

Turn onto serving dish, serve with custard or ice-cream.

Note- We doubled this receipe for a family of eight. (children under 12). Also when doubling you do not need to double golden syrup.

Enjoy

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Posted: Aug 19 2005 at 5:28pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Thanks Erin! I always love to learn about a new saint.

God bless.

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Erin
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Posted: Oct 13 2010 at 4:54am | IP Logged Quote Erin

We are very excited here, counting three days till the canonisation!!!

Bumping this up and changing the title a little. I wanted to add some more links.

Mary MacKillop's Story
Also I found some Derring-Do Mary books available and a new book out The Black Dress - Pamela Freeman (haven't yet read this)

I was a Joey kid myself, 2nd generation (taught by Mary MacKillop's nuns) so I'm pretty excited

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Posted: Oct 13 2010 at 6:47am | IP Logged Quote asplendidtime

Thank you for sharing this story! It really blessed me.


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Posted: Oct 13 2010 at 5:58pm | IP Logged Quote leanne maree

I have read the Black Dress and I really enjoyed it, as did all the family.
I myself was surrounded by stories of Mary McKillop as a child.
I was not educated at a Catholic school, so I can't recall how I knew a lot about her- maybe my Nan-, but somehow She was certainly part of my life as a child.

We have been looking at Mary McKillop every year as we study Australia. Its been a lot of fun.
We are heading to Sydney on the weekend to do a Pilgrimage to Mary MacKillop place and then To St Marys Cathedral for the celebrations of Her Canonisation. Her is a link.
Mary MacKillop Place
Hope you can share in our excitement

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Posted: Oct 13 2010 at 11:31pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

leanne maree wrote:

We are heading to Sydney on the weekend to do a Pilgrimage to Mary MacKillop place and then To St Marys Cathedral for the celebrations of Her Canonisation. Her is a link.
Mary MacKillop Place
Hope you can share in our excitement


Trying to control my envy here I'm seriously excited for you.

We're in the midst of Derring-Do-Mary, just up to where she is excommunicated

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Posted: Oct 13 2010 at 11:50pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

It would be lovely to be at the canonisation, wouldn't it? What a wonderful, historic moment it will be!


I think it is wonderful that Mother Mary will be recognized for her saintly work and life - such an inspiration for those of us (like me!) who struggle with perseverance.

The world needs more people like Mother Mary - Saint Mary, very soon!

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Posted: Oct 16 2010 at 9:23pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

Ohh!! The Big Day has arrived

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leanne maree
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Posted: Oct 18 2010 at 4:15am | IP Logged Quote leanne maree

How Blessed are we as Australians to have St Mary Of the Cross as our 1st Saint.
   

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Posted: Oct 18 2010 at 7:16am | IP Logged Quote Nique

What a role model of faith and perseverance St. Mary of the Cross is!

Congratulations Australia!

VERY EXCITING indeed

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Posted: Oct 19 2010 at 10:07pm | IP Logged Quote Alison


I posted a few pictures on my blog of the celebrations in Adelaide on Sunday. Looking forward to hearing how others in Australia celebrated this amazing event!
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Posted: Oct 19 2010 at 11:07pm | IP Logged Quote leanne maree

Great Photo Alison.
WE celebrated by heading to Sydney. I wanted to Pilgrim to Mary MacKillop Place. So We visited her tomb. that was emotional and the Sisters of St Joseph were just so helpful and so welcoming.
We then trained it to St Marys Cathedral in Sydney City. There was celebrations all afternoon, and Mass was 5pm til 6.30pm, Bishop Porteous was celebrating Mass. People overflowed the church so many people watched and participated in Mass in the foreground.
After Mass there were big screens set up in the Cathedrals forground so people could view the Canonisation and Papal Mass. We stayed and enjoyed that.
That was how we spend our day.
We got home very late and we slept in the next day and watch the proceeding that we had taped the night before.
Wonderful Day
   

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Posted: Oct 20 2010 at 12:26am | IP Logged Quote Alison

Sounds great Leanne, wonder if you "bumped" into my oldest at some part of the celebrations. We walked in the procession but came home to watch the Canonization on tv. Really glad we did too as although children were disappointed at not staying to watch at the Cathedral, coming home meant dh could be part of our celebration too(he hadn't walked due to a bad leg injury.)So we all shared a casual meal together which dd and I prepared. It was one of those "special" family times when we were all together in the same place!
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Posted: March 21 2014 at 12:12pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Hey, has anyone seen this book? Thinking of you especially, Erin...

Meet Mary MacKillop.

It is part of an Australian picture book series recently published to teach about famous Australians. Since the series is generally secular it was interesting that one of the people covered was St. Mary MacKillop. I am really curious about the quality of this picture book and if it accurately portrays her life.

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Posted: March 21 2014 at 4:29pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

Mary
Just checked my library, alas and alack they don't have it In fact they only have one of the other titles in that series

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