|13 Aug 2021|
Last Sunday, Catholics everywhere celebrated the Feast of Australia’s first and only saint, Saint Mary MacKillop. Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj reminds us that “Mary MacKillop is a woman whose life encourages us to 'take fresh courage.' Her perseverance in the face of adversity came from her deep desire to live in and for God. Walking amidst life’s difficulties, she had the capacity to lift people’s spirit as she encouraged them to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Her heart was grounded in God’s mission, loving tenderly the many people who shared their troubles with her.”
Across our school, during Religion classes, students took time to remember the faith, life and legacy of Mary Mackillop and reflect on her dedication and desire to educate young people. She lived in a time when she was acutely aware that education was the pathway out of poverty. This is still a reality for people everywhere today. Education is a tool that empowers people to follow their dreams and work towards their goals, hopes and aspirations for a better future.
Mary herself was home-schooled by her father. As a community, we draw on her strength and perseverance, as we too find ourselves in the strange world of online learning from our homes. Luckily for us, we have the tool of technology to keep us connected to our teachers, friends and colleagues while still able to learn and explore the world and all the wonderful opportunities it provides to help us to be the best of our own self.
Over the past two weeks, families would have seen prayer spaces pop up around their homes as our students created a place for God and a devotional place of prayer for Mary MacKillop. The prayer spaces provided a place where we could sit quietly and reflect on Mary’s life, gaining some strength and inspiration from her great works. Below are some reflections and images from the students.
“The feast of St Mary MacKillop is a very special occasion in our faith calendar as we celebrate a very important woman; not only for the church, but for the whole of Australia. We are going to honour this very special woman of sincerity and integrity, who gives hope to us that we too can be courageous warriors out in the world. It is people like Mary MacKillop and Mary Ward who are role models for the way we live our lives today.”
Trinity, Year 9
“Mary MacKillop was a person of love and care. She learned this way from her parents - Alexander and Flora MacKillop. In this story the thing that stands out to me the most is the family connection. Even though they lost all their money, family came first. It shows the abundance of love and how no amount of money can buy or take away family happiness. The unconditional love in the story stood out to me; even in sickness family is still there and showcases the love that you can't put a price on.”
Molly, Year 9
Mrs Libby Parker
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