The MacKillop Cross that resides in the MacKillop Place Museum at North Sydney is presently visiting all dioceses and parishes that have had a connection with the Sisters of St Joseph, the order founded by Mary MacKillop. The Cross will be in Sunbury next Saturday night coinciding with the 6.00pm Mass. Parishioners are invited to view the Cross and share in the historic nature of the visit.
Tea/coffee available after Mass.
Some more information about the Pilgrimage of the Cross from the Sydney Archdiocese
Original can be seen here.
Every two years, the Knights of the Southern Cross organise a Festival of Faith to coincide with Pentecost. But this year’s celebration of Catholic culture by the Knights has been postponed from 21-23 May, as originally planned, and instead will now take place in October when their patron, Blessed Mother Mary MacKillop will be canonised by Pope Benedict XVI.
“The Knights of the Southern Cross have a close association with Mary MacKillop and after close cconsultation with the Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, Fr Paul Hilder and the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, we decided to reschedule the Festival this year and make it part of the canonisation celebrations in October,”
says Greg Briscoe-Hough, events manager for the Knights of the Southern Cross NSW.
For this reason the planned art displays, music competitions, concerts, Catholic Men’s Forum, Festival Dinner, food fest and other events will now be held over a two month period from August 8, the 101th anniversary of Mary MacKillop’s death, until Sunday, October 17 when the co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart will be canonised and become Australia’s first Saint.
But of all the events planned, the most moving will be the pilgrimage of the MacKillop Cross. The MacKillop Cross which resides in Mary MacKillop Place Museum at North Sydney, will begin its Pilgrimage across South Eastern Australia on August 8 this year, and will be carried by members of the knights to every diocese and Cathedral in NSW, Victoria and SA as well as the Military Ordinariate. The Cross will also be taken to as many schools and establishments run by the Sisters of St Joseph as possible including the original MacKillop schoolhouse in Penola, South Australia.
For the Knights of the Southern Cross, the school in Penola has special meaning. Not only is this where Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison-Woods founded their first school and later, the Order of the Sisters of Joseph of the Sacred Heart, but it is from the original wooden floor of the Penola school that the MacKillop Cross was fashioned.
The story of the MacKillop Cross dates back to 1986 when the Knights of the Southern Cross made a pilgrimage to 12 dioceses in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, to lobby Australia’s bishops to pursue the canonisation of their patron.
During the pilgrimage, they visited Penola and attended a special thanksgiving Mass at the historic picturesque St Joseph’s Church which was founded by Fr Tenison-Woods and is close to the little schoolhouse where Mary ran her first school.
“The Knights from Penola had taken the timbers from the original floor of the schoolhouse when a new floor was laid, and they presented the Sydney chapter of the Knights with four pieces of these timbers,”says Greg.
“Two of the timbers measured nine feet (274.3 cm) in length with the other two measuring four feet six inches (137.2 cm) from which two Crosses were made,”Greg explains.
Both were constructed by the Knights of the Southern Cross NSW, and French polished by one of the chapter’s members. Then one of the Crosses was presented to Pope John Paul II during his open air Mass at Randwick in 1986, while the other – dubbed the MacKillop Cross – was given to St Mary’s Cathedral. In 1995, the MacKillop Cross played a key role in the Beatification ceremonies for Mary MacKillop. Then for several years it seems to have been mislaid, only resurfacing late last year when it was refurbished and then presented by the Knights of the Southern Cross to the Sisters of St Joseph.. The presentation was made on 8 December 2009 after the Cross had been carried in the Entrance Procession at the midday Mass celebrated at the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel.
Now the Cross is about to go on the move again and as with the World Youth Day Cross will be seen, touched and celebrated by thousands as it makes its journey from Mary MacKillop Place on August 8 to the Dioceses of Broken Bay, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga , Bathurst and then heads south to Victoria and then across to South Australia.
The 2010 Pilgrimage will end back at Mary MacKillop Place when the Knights of the Southern Cross will continue their celebrations of their patron’s canonisation with art shows, music, concerts and an even more expanded program than their normal biennial Pentecost Festival of Faith.