Father Peter Slack at the shrine to Mother Mary MacKillop at St Mary’s Church, Casino.
Father Peter Slack at the shrine to Mother Mary MacKillop at St Mary’s Church, Casino.

Mother Mary to become first saint

IT’S OFFICIAL, Australians will have their first saint when Mother Mary MacKillop is canonised on October 17.

The much anticipated announcement was made on Saturday by Pope Benedict XVI.

At Saturday night’s Mass in Casino Fr Peter Slack made special mention of Mother Mary’s sainthood from the altar.

Fr Slack said it was a very special day for the order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, which Mother Mary co-founded.

“We are delighted one of our own Aussies has been recognised as a person of great virtue and holiness,” Fr Slack said.

Mother Mary, who began her work at 19, was the kind of person who saw a need and went about meeting it, Fr Slack said.

Mother Mary’s Josephite nuns established schools for the education of girls throughout Australia and New Zealand.

In September 1871 she was excommunicated from the Church for alleged insubordination.

The Church regretted its decision and removed the sentence five months later allowing Mother Mary to continue her work. She died in 1909.

The process to have her canonised, which began in 1925, required proof of the performance of two miracles.

The first was Mother Mary’s intercession to God which it is claimed was responsible for the recovery of a dying woman in 1961.

In 2009 a second miracle came with the complete cure of an Australian woman suffering lung and secondary brain cancer.

It is thought the miracles were achieved through prayers to Mother Mary.



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