On this date, in 1909, a remarkable woman died…Mother Mary MacKillop. Her story is almost as wild as the outback she grew up in. Born the oldest of 7 children, her parents sojourn to Australia alone would have been quite the tale. Taken as a whole, the life of St. Mary MacKillop should have been the “Australia” movie made recently, instead of that Baz Lurhman never-ending epic thing. Her life was filled with adventure, struggle, suffering, persecution (she was even excommunicated at one point, but later completely exonerated), joy, triumph, and, to be sure, a great deal of faith, hope and love.
She was foundress of the School Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (known affectionately as the Brown Joeys). She and her community were dedicated to the education of the poor. Think about that…Australia…late 1800’s…former criminal colony…poor…outback…wow, what a challenge (not to mention the big heavy brown habits). And of course, throw Pope Leo XIII into the story as well (St. Katherine Drexel and St Therese the Little Flower can tell you about him); now HERE is the movie that should be made! I wonder who could play her…maybe Emily Blunt. Anyway…she is Australia’s ONLY saint (recognized as a saint October 2010). Let’s pray for more…her homeland can use more right now. Acutally, we all could use more heroes of virtue right now. You can read more about her here.
It seems appropriate to honor her life with this production done by an Australian confirmation student. It’s a little hard to read sometimes, but I think it would make St. Mary MacKillop smile.
(and I think she would have smiled at the use of Beyonce too…reclaiming the temporal order. Way to go kid!)