Feast of St Mary of the Cross Mackillop

Today, as we celebrate the solemnity of St Mary of the Cross Mackillop, our first Australian saint, Fr Paul begins by reading the Gospel from Matthew (6: 5-34), in which we are told not to worry that God will look after us.  Fr Paul then shares a little bit about Mary’s life.

Mary was born in Melbourne Victoria in 1842.  She was the eldest child in her family and had three sisters and four brothers. At 14, she began work as a clerk to help support her family; then she worked as a governess looking after some of her cousins, teaching them and some other farm children their lessons.  This is what led her to become a schoolteacher.

In 1866, she founded St Joseph’s School, which was the first free Catholic School in Australia.  Along with Fr Julian Tenison Woods, she founded the order of nuns called the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, otherwise, known today as the Josephites. The order is still active in our church and community today and still works in many of our schools and charitable institutions.

Mary Mackillop, the first Australian saint, was canonised in Rome on 17 October 2010 and today as we remember and celebrate her life, Fr Paul shares some of her quotes and sayings that might be part of our prayer today:

Mary said ‘Find happiness in making others happy’

She also said ‘Whatever troubles may be before you, accept them bravely, remembering whom who are trying to follow; love one another, bear with one another; and let charity guide you all your life.  God will reward you as only he can”.

Some further sayings of Mary:
‘We must teach more by example than by word.’
‘Be eager in your desires but humbly patient in their accomplishment.’
‘Remember, we are all but travellers here.’
‘Never see a need without trying to do something about it.’

Fr Paul invites us to take some time to reflect today on these words of St Mary of the Cross.