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More room to reflect on Blessed Mary MacKillop


The 10th anniversary of the beatification of Blessed Mary MacKillop will be marked on Wednesday, 19 January, with the opening and blessing of the new extension to her shrine in the chapel at North Sydney.

The Catholic Weekly reports the additional space will allow more people to visit and reflect, in the presence of the co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

The chapel built in her honour encloses her shrine and tomb and has attracted hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in the 10 years it has been open. The number of Australian and overseas pilgrims continues to grow; in the past two years 235,804 people have visited Mary's tomb.

Sr Monica Cavanagh, who has a close involvement with the shrine and the pilgrims who visit it, says: "I am always inspired by the faith of the pilgrims and the strong connection Mary holds for everyday people."

The order was founded by Blessed Mary MacKillop at Penola, in eastern South Australia, in March, 1866 and, by the time of her death in 1909, there were 1000 sisters. Now there are 990 sisters throughout Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 15 sisters working overseas at any one time with the poor, the majority in Peru.

Mary's final resting place, in Mount St, North Sydney is known as Mary MacKillop Place, and is now a shrine for all people, a place of inclusion, a place of celebration, peace and joy.

Mary MacKillop was beatified by Pope John Paul II on his visit to Australia in 1995.


SOURCE
More room to reflect (Catholic Weekly 16/1/05)

LINKS
Blessed Mary MacKillop
Sisters of St Joseph | Mary MacKillop Place

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13 Jan 2005