Dr. Foster Lerner and Mr. John Burford, IV
of Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida present
Ignorance of the Saints is Ignorance of Christ’s Bride.
Saint Mary MacKillop (AD 1842 – 1909)
IGHT years ago, Mary MacKillop, also known as Mary of the Cross, was made Australia’s first canonized Saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17th, 2010. Mary’s parents emigrated from Scotland to Australia while it was still a part of the British Empire.
Mary’s father Alexander had studied to become a priest in Rome at the Scots College, but fell ill and chose to live in holy wedlock with Flora MacDonald whom he married in Scotland.
The two immigrated to Australia, seeking a better life, and Mary was born one of their nine children in 1842 in Melbourne. The family was poor. By the age of 14, Mary was already working, often her family’s main source of financial support. In 1860, she moved away and became a governess for her better-off aunt and uncle. But she insisted on educating not only the couple’s children, but the poor of the town.
Her work was endorsed by a young priest named Fr. Julian Tenison Woods. With his help, in 1866, Mary formed Australia’s first religious order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, taking vows and becoming the Mother Superior the following year. They also founded a free school in a converted barn. Just one year after that the sisters founded an orphanage, a half-way house for women released from prison, and similar schools in other Australian cities. By 1871, over 130 Josephite sisters were working in more than 40 schools across Australia. Continue reading