Sydney, Australia: Shrine of Saint Mary MacKillop
About Mary MacKillop:
Born in 1842, she was the daughter of Scottish immigrants Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald, who met in Australia shortly after their arrival to this continent and were married in 1840. Mary had a somewhat tumultuous childhood due to the many business failures of her father that resulted in having to sell their homes several times over.
As the oldest of 8 children, Mary felt much of the burden to help provide financially for the family. Her father was not an uncaring man, but simply not equipped to run a successful business.
But more importantly, where he did succeed, was in the education of his children. Under his tutelage they received a solid foundation in their Catholic faith as well as academic work. Her mother helped to keep the family together with her positive outlook on life, always trusting to God’s providence to provide. Nevertheless, it had to be a somewhat difficult childhood for Mary.
By 1866 she helped to found a school in Southern Australia in town of Penola. She took the name Saint Mary of the Cross and founded an order, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, dedicated to teaching. She later moved to Brisbane, at the invitation of the local Bishop. While there she encountered difficulties even within the Church, but overcame them and her order continued to minister to the needs of the people. By 1871 over 120 women had taken vows. There were many obstacles yet to be overcome, including intense repression of her order, but she persevered through it all.
She was Canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
We celebrate her Feast Day on August 8.
About the Mary Mackillop house:
Mary Mackillop lived here and is buried here in the chapel. In addition to her tomb, the house now contains a museum, gift shop and cafeteria.
Traveling to Sydney:
Sydney is a major international destination as well as a popular cruise port. There are two places here: both the Mary Mackillop House and the Memorial Chapel. Both are quite close to the cruise port, as you can see from the map below.
Address: 7-11 Mount St, North Sydney NSW 2060, Australia
GPS coordinates: 33° 50′ 19.8204” S, 151° 12′ 17.0172” E
Tel: (+61) 02 8912 4878
Click here for the official website of the Mary MacKillop House in Sydney. Great information about her struggles and her ultimate success.
Photo courtesy sydneyorgan.com