On 8 August every year, we celebrate Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s Feast Day
This Feast Day, we’re celebrating the vision of Australia’s first Saint and of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, being realised. Mary MacKillop’s influence in Australia today, and beyond, is palpable.
Mary and the Sisters were committed to serving the poor – to going to where the need was and living amongst those in need.
Mary faced fierce opposition throughout her life. In the face of trial, Mary was a model of forgiveness, insisting no ill be spoken of those who wronged her, while also remaining resolute in her convictions. Mary was remarkable as a strong female leader in 19th century Australia. Education in this country is what it is today thanks to her dedication and determination.
In the spirit of Mary MacKillop, we work in partnership to help create generational change through the teaching of practical life skills to women, men and children in Australia and beyond.
In 1867, her co-founder, Fr Julian Tenison Woods wrote that the Sisters were to: “Do all the good they can and never see an evil without trying how they may remedy it. … This is their mission… The religious must do any good that they can…and make their charity all-embracing.”
It is in the spirit of that guiding principle that Mary MacKillop Today was born.
We are committed to continuing the works of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, with the utmost respect for our great past and we look to the future for transformation and change, in the spirit of Saint Mary MacKillop.
“Believe in the whisperings of God in your own heart.”
– Saint Mary MacKillop 1868
Four ways to help this Feast Day
This Feast Day, like Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, “We are mindful of the many farmers facing the worst drought in history.” We know, as Sr Monica Cavanagh says, “Mary MacKillop had a special place in her heart for people living in rural and isolated communities… [as she’s] ‘A woman for the bush.'”
“During the Feast Day masses at Mary MacKillop Place today, a special collection was taken to support St Vincent de Paul Drought Appeal” and we hope that any support that we can provide and “Mary MacKillop’s capacity to persevere in the face of adversity may bring hope to all those communities struggling in this crisis. It challenges each one of us to ask ourselves: How can I support these families in this current reality?”
This Feast Day, we urge you to take one of the following actions:
- READ more about Mary MacKillop Today’s projects.
- GIVE as little as $20 or $30 a month to become an Independent Spirit of Mary MacKillop Today.
- BUY ethica‘s quality Fair Trade products and create meaningful change for artisans and families.
- SUPPORT Australian farmers and communities.
May we each be guided and lead by Mary’s spirit to do what needs to be done, this Feast Day and beyond.
To help us continue Mary’s legacy, donate online or call us on 02 8912 2777. Together, we can bring hope to the ‘poorest and most neglected parts of God’s vineyard’ for generations to come.
Saint Mary MacKillop Blessing
May the abiding presence of God encourage us
May the abundance of God’s love enliven us
May the vision of Julian Tenison Woods inspire us
May our love for one another support us
May God bless us – Provident, Overflowing Generosity,
and Ground of our Hope.