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Friday a week ago the Universal Church celebrated 105 years since the death of St Mary of the Cross, MacKillop. Pope Benedict XVI on 17 October 2010 described her as “a holy woman who with courage and zeal, perseverance and prayer, dedicated her life to the needs of the young.” For the first time in the 2000 year history of our beloved Catholic Church, we could see an Australian– one from our own soil– a Saint of God! In the Canonisation ceremony, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop was introduced as: “an Australian responsive to the will of God and totally trustful in Divine Providence; an Australian who lived in the presence of God from an early age; an Australian who had intense devotion to the Mass. She nurtured a love of the Blessed Sacrament and other devotions of her time, especially devotion to St Joseph; an Australian whose holiness was expressed in Christian virtues, especially the Catholic education of children of the poorer classes, the pastoral care of women prisoners, prostitutes and the fail elderly and orphans.” Even at her death in 1909 there were signs that the people of her time realized her saintly holiness: the Archbishop of Sydney at this time, Cardinal Moran stated, “I believe I have this day attended the death bed of a saint… her death will bring many blessings.” St Mary surely radiated God’s loving kindness in imitation of Jesus, gave light and hope to the marginalized ones of her time who lived in the shadows. May we do the same, as we now have our own Australian Saint to intercede for us and help us all to be characterized as people of loving kindness, trusting in Jesus alone.

During the past three years the prayers of the Sisters of St Joseph have been realized in the fusion (merging) of four of the Federation of Josephite Congregations, (Perthville, Tasmania, Canberra-Goulburn and Whanganui) with the Central Congregation, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. With it brought many changes, but through prayer and listening to the voice of God, we are enjoying the richness we all share and the joy of living with Sisters who share the Josephite charism as given to Mary MacKillop and Fr Woods.
God, we praise you for the blessings that come to us here at Sunbury through St Mary MacKillop’s Sisters since 1916.

……..Sr Jose` Noy

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