My photographs taken at Mary's Chapel
in North Sydney
- Time Line of Mary
- 1842 : Born
January 15 in Brunswick Street Fitzroy Victoria.
- 1860 : 1 Governess
to cousins at Penola Station in South Australia.
- 1863 : Appointed
to denominational school at Portland.
- 1864 : Opens Bay view
house School for young ladies at Portland.
- 1866 : 19 March St
Joseph's Day. Mary wears a plain black dress to signify her dedication to
a Religious life.
- 1867 : Opens first
convent cottage in Grote Street Adelaide and opens a school.
- 1867 : Takes her vows,
- 1869 : Takes her
final vows on December 8 and leaves for Queensland.
- 1870 : Opposition to the
sisters over the issue of independence and the order's refusal to accept
government grants for education.
- 1871 : Excommunicated by
Bishop Shield and order removed February 23.Thsi was removed by him
on his death bed the following year.
- 1873 : Visits Rome and
has a personal audience with the Pope Pius 1X.
- 1875 : Constitution of
the order of the Institute of St Joseph accepted and Mary elected Superior
General. Free, compulsory education becomes law in South Australia.
1880 Eight foundations of the order made in Sydney and sisters invited to
- 1883 : First New Zealand
- 1883 : Mother Mary
deposed and ordered to leave Adelaide.
- 1887 : Rome
refuses to approve decrees asserting diocesan control over the Josephites.
Sisters arrive from Northampton, Western Australia.
- 1888 : Decree from Rome
constitutes the the sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart as and
approves Regular congregation with Mother House in Sydney. Diocesan
congregation to be distinct from the other and to make some alterations in
their habit and their rule.
- 1889 : Mother Mary
elected Assistant General.
- 1891 : Suffers her fist
bout of her many illnesses.
- 1899 : Again
elected Superior General.
- !902 : Suffers a
- 1909 : Dies in Sydney,
August 8th .
Mary was born
15th January 1842 in Brunswick Street Fitzroy Melbourne. She was baptised Maria
Ellen on 28th February. She was the eldest of five more born after her. Maggie,
Annie & Lexie
. Tow more sons arrived alter, Donald & Peter. Mary's father had
spent some years studying for the priesthood in Rome, but has to return to
without completing his lifetime ambition to Scotland, due
to poor health.
Mr MacKillop arrived
with his parents in 1835. He had little understanding of how to mange money and
there were many occasions that the 7 children were left without shelter and
food. Their friends and relatives came to their aid and it was quite common to
be separated from one another.
Life during the Gold
Rush days in Victoria was hard for the growing MacKillop family. Mary was
barely in her teens, when she realised as the eldest realised that she needed to
financially support them. Her work was mainly as a Governess and
later as Government school teacher at Portland school. It was while thus engaged
that she made the acquaintance of Father Julian Tenison Woods, the parish Priest
of South East of South Australia, some 22,00 square miles.
At the age of 24,with
her ongoing role as chief supporter of the family, now growing
up, and with two of her sisters to help her, took over the parish School, Penola
in South Australia, as a voluntary teacher. This was in 1866. This was
named Saint Joseph School, ironically it had been an unused stable. The idea
quickly took hold.
Alone is a vast
tract of land with its scattered population Father Julian dreamed of a
Congregation of Sisters who would go to the poor in their settlements and lead
them to the knowledge and love of their heavenly Father. He found in Mary
MacKillop a kindred spirit, as such had been her burning desire growing out of
her love of God. A year later, Father Woods persuaded Bishop Shiel to let him
bring Mary and a companion to Adelaide to take over the Cathedral school.
response of the two young women the colony was phenomenal. within 2 years 120
had joined the young Religious Institute whose apostolate embraced educating
children in the little parish schools, caring for orphans, of whom there were
many, and providing a temporary home. The Sisters of St Joseph was now
finally recognised. Also she cared for destitute women of all ages,
ex-prostitutes, ex-prisoners as well as visiting the poor in their homes, and
the sick in hospitals. The Religious community she founded is known as as the
Sisters of St Joseph. They spread themselves wide and far throughout the world
in tiny groups in Peru, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia refugee camps
in Uganda, Thailand.
43 years, Mary of the Cross ( as she was known in her Religious life) almost
unaided, worked to developed sound spirituality in her Sisters and set up a
Religious Institute capable of carrying on the Mission to the whole of
Australia. she had to contend with serious misunderstanding, at all levels of
society, especially within the church, as the ideal she was developing was quite
died at the age of 67 on the 8th August, 1909 of ill health in North Sydney
where she is now buried. There are some 1300 'brown joeys' who are situated
mainly in Australia and New Zealand. You may run across them in the most
difficult surroundings. A dusty road leading to an outback Aboriginal
the lonely and the unwanted.
I took my family to
Rand wick racecourse for her Special Mass that the Pope attended when he
came to Australia for our celebrations for Blessed Mary MacKillop. As
the saying goes 'Wow you just had to be there.' Our Parish hired buses and we
sat amongst our friends from the Parish for the Mass. I would not have missed it
for the world. The final step will be for her to made Saint.I have visited with
my family the Mary MacKillop Chapel in 7 Mount Street, North
Sydney and toured around for 2 hours seeing all the memorabilia. What a
wonderful quite serene place to pray and see the exhibits. They are opened each
day from 10-4pm except Saturday when their hours are from 12 noon -4pm. For
large tours it would be advisable to book. Phone, 02 9954-9688 is their
phone number. Concession was $5.00, children $3.00 and for family of 2 adults
and 2 children it was $15.00.
God moves in
God moves in a
His wonders to
He plants his
footsteps in the sea.
And rides upon the
- Deep in
- Of never failing
- He treasures up
his bright designs,
- In blessings in
- Judge not the Lord
by feeble sense,
- But trust him for
- Behind a frowning
- He hides a smiling
- His purpose will
- Unfolding every
- The bud may have a
- But sweet
will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is
sure to err,
And scan his work
God is his own
And he will make