St Mary of the Cross - Mary MacKillop



Monday, August 01, 2016 12:38:35 PM 
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Mary MacKillop Museum 

Most loving God
We thank you for the example of Mary MacKillop,
who in living of the Gospel
Witness to the human dignity of each person.
She faced life's challenges with courage.
We pray for each intercessions for our needs....
May her holiness soon be accepted by the Church.
We make this prayer through Jesus the Lord. Amen

Catholics in Australian hope Blessed Mary MacKillop will be soon be Australia's first Saint. Mary's first miracle as a women who was diagnosed with cancer 1961 and she was still living in 1993.

19.8.08 Today was a very 'Special' day and we decided to visit this park in Canterbury NSW, that we had often passed and we took  some photographs to others to see. I hope you enjoy them and their significance to Mary and our local history. My curiosity has finally put to rest why she was remembered here at this particular spot.


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Please pray for this intention .

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My photographs taken at Mary's Chapel in North Sydney

Some more Great Pictures of her Chapel


Time Line of Mary MacKillop.
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, August 15.
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 Armidale.
1883 : First New Zealand Foundation.
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 stroke.
1909 : Dies in Sydney, August  8th .

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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, John, Alexander, 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.

The 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.

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For 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 new.



She 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 community, 

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 Mysterious Ways.

William Cowper.


God moves in a mysterious way.
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea.
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines.
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
In blessings in your head.


Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for your grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.
His purpose will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.


Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter ,
And he will make it plain.