Life On The Job




Famous or Historic People

Mary Helen MacKillop RSJ (15 January 1842 – 8 August 1909), St Mary of the Cross MacKillop,
a Sister [nun], a Teacher, and, Founder of the Order of Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites). Australia's First Saint.
(Research & activities for Mary MacKillop were carried out by Genevieve Albert, Ella Barry & Lia Marin - all ACU Education Students)


Mary MacKillop

 

Introduction

Mary Helen MacKillop was born on 15 January 1842 in what is now the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, Victoria to Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald. She was born a Scottish Catholic, the first of eight children. Her selfless work as a Sister [Nun], looking after those less fortunate in combination with her strong faith has made her an inspiration to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

True humility seems to me to be unreal unless accompanied by a sweet and thoughtful charity” (Mary Mackillop, 1870).

Education

Mary Mackillop was brought up in a struggling household due to her father’s many business failings. From early on in her life Mary had a passion for education, though she had little to no formal schooling herself. For the most part, her and her siblings were well educated at home by their father. The unpredictability of Mary’s home life caused her to seek stability in ‘God will provide’.

Employment

Mary’s family were not wealthy and at fourteen years of age she was sent to work as a clerk (a clerk conducts general office tasks like a receptionist) for Sands and Kenny [now Sands & MacDougall] Stationers in Melbourne. Her work-ethic meant she was given many responsibilities. Mary soon became the primary provider for her family.

To provide for her needy family, in 1860 she took a job as governess at the estate of her aunt and uncle, Alexander and Margaret Cameron in Penola, South Australia where she was to look after their children and teach them.

She educated the children, sparking a need to educate those in poverty so others began to join the lessons she taught. Her work lead her to meet Fr. Julian Tenison Woods [a Catholic priest and geologist] and parish priest. He became her advisor, with a common goal to educate and share faith with impoverished children in rural areas.

MacKillop stayed for two years with the Camerons before accepting a job teaching the children of Portland, Victoria in 1862. Later she taught at the Portland school and after opening her own boarding school, Bay View House Seminary for Young Ladies, now Bayview College, in 1864, was joined by the rest of her family.

While Mary was teaching in Portland, Fr. Woods invited Mary’s sisters, Annie & Lexie, to Penola with the aim of opening a Catholic school in 1866. Woods was appointed director of education and became the founder, along with MacKillop, of a school they opened in a stable there. After renovations by their brother, the MacKillops started teaching more than 50 children on the 19 March 1866, the feast day of St Joseph. [The Sisters of St Joseph date the foundation of their religious order to that day although the Rule for the order was not officially approved by Church authorities until some years later.] At this time MacKillop made a declaration of her dedication to God and began wearing black. [Usually nuns wear habits (dresses) of black].

At Desk
Mary at desk writing
(Source: Visit Mary MacKillop)



On 21 November 1866, the feast day of the Presentation of Mary, several other women joined MacKillop and her sisters. MacKillop adopted the religious name of "Sister Mary of the Cross" and she and Lexie began wearing simple religious habits. The small group began to call themselves the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and moved to a new house in Grote Street, Adelaide. There they founded a new school at the request of the bishop, Laurence Bonaventure Sheil OFM.

The "rule of life" developed by Woods and MacKillop for the community emphasised poverty, a dependence on divine providence, no ownership of personal belongings, faith that God would provide and willingness to go where needed. The rule of life was approved by Bishop Sheil. On 15 August 1867 Mary MacKillop took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in a ceremony designed by father Julian Tenison Woods who acted as her mentor. Mary adopted the religious name “Sister Mary of the Cross. By the end of 1867, ten other women had joined the Josephites, who adopted a plain brown religious habit. Due to the colour of their attire and their name, the Josephite sisters became colloquially known as the "Brown Joeys".

In an attempt to provide education to all the poor, particularly in rural areas, a school was opened in Yankalilla, South Australia, in October 1867. By the end of 1869, more than 70 members of the Sisters of St Joseph were educating children at 21 schools in Adelaide and the country. MacKillop and her Josephites were also involved with an orphanage; neglected children; girls in danger; the aged poor; a reformatory and a home for the aged and incurably ill. Generally, the Josephite sisters were prepared to follow farmers, railway workers and miners into the isolated outback and live as they lived.

In December 1869, MacKillop and several other sisters travelled to Brisbane to establish the order in Queensland. They were based at Kangaroo Point and took the ferry or rowed across the Brisbane River to attend Mass at St Stephen's Cathedral. Two years later, she was in Port Augusta, South Australia for the same purpose. The Josephite congregation expanded rapidly and, by 1871, 130 sisters were working in more than 40 schools and charitable institutions across South Australia and Queensland.

Experiences & Opportunities

Fr. Woods, seeing Mary’s desire to commit her life to serving God, began pursuing a formation of a religious order for nuns in Australia which included four main criteria:

1. An emphasis on poverty
2. A dependence on divine providence
3. No ownership of personal belongings (God will provide)
4. The Sisters would go wherever they were needed.

Mary Mackillop, thanks to Fr. Woods, became the first sister and Mother Superior of St Joseph’s in 1867 and had ten other sisters by the end of the year.

 

After receiving her formal teaching qualifications, Mary and two of her sisters ran a school in Penola in a cottage for anyone, whether they could pay or not and Mary’s brother John built a more suitable building for it.

By August 1871, over one hundred women had taken their vows as Sisters of Saint Joseph.
By 1877, it operated more than 40 schools in and around Adelaide, with many others in Queensland and New South Wales.

MacKillop clashed with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brisbane, James Quinn, over the control of the many schools she established; MacKillop believed the sisters should control the schools while Quinn believed the diocese [himself] should control them. In 1879, relationships between them had deteriorated to the point that Quinn directed the sisters to leave his diocese. Despite protests by the laity, Quinn was determined and MacKillop and her Josephite sisters had left the diocese by mid-1880 with other Catholic orders taking over the operation of their schools. When the Diocese of Rockhampton was excised from the Brisbane diocese on 29 December 1882, it enabled MacKillop and her sisters to return to Queensland, where they established a school in Clermont and then in other places within the new diocese.

Excommunication

After a time, sisters began suffering poverty themselves and allegations were made against Fr. Wood’s ability to manage the schools. Heavy scrutiny of schools and the sisters followed.

Mary Mackillop was ex-communicated in September 1871 as a result of her voicing her concerns that her hard work in the church and for the Sisters of Saint Joseph was being undone.

As a result Mary travelled to Rome where she found support in Monsignor Kirby and she met with Pope Pius IX. While waiting for approval of the Constitutions, Mary went on pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial which exhausted her physically and emotionally.

MacKillop travelled to Rome in 1873 to seek papal approval for the religious congregation and was encouraged in her work by Pope Pius IX. The authorities in Rome made changes to the way Josephite sisters lived in regards to their commitment to poverty and declared that the superior general and her council were the authorities in charge of the congregation. They assured MacKillop that the congregation and their "Rule of Life" would receive final approval after a trial period.

On return to Australia, the Constitutions were approved and Mary was made the first Superior General.

1881 - 1909

In 1881, Elzear Torreggiani, then Bishop of Armidale, established Mother Mary MacKillop's Sisters of St Joseph at Tenterfield and defended their power of central government at the 1885 Plenary Council.

During the time Torreggiani was Bishop of Armidale the Sisters of St Joseph established foundations at Tenterfield (1880), Inverell (1880), Narrabri (1882), Glen Innes (1883), Uralla (1886), Quirindi (1888), Hillgrove (1889), Tingha (1890), Bingara (1902), Walgett (1902), Warialda (1904) and Manilla (1904).[22] Subsequently the sisters established Bundarra (1908), Barraba (1910), Boggabri (1911), Tamworth West (1919), Dungowan (1930), Tamworth South (1954) Lightning Ridge (1980) Mungindi (1995) and Attunga (1995). Wee Waa and Werris Creek were also "Motor Mission" centres.

With the help from Benson, Barr Smith, the Baker family, Emanuel Solomon and other non-Catholics, the Josephites, with MacKillop as their leader and superior general, were able to continue the religious and other good works, including visiting prisoners in jail.

After the death of Mother Bernard, MacKillop was once more elected unopposed as superior general in 1899, a position she held until her own death.

Mary’s health began to decline and in 1901 she suffered a stroke, leaving her with permanent disability. For seven years, she had to rely on a wheelchair to move around, but her speech and mind were as good as ever and her letter writing had continued unabated after she learned to write with her left hand. Even after suffering the stroke, the Josephite nuns had enough confidence in her to re-elect her in 1905.

Sculpture at ACU
Bronze sculpture of Mary MacKillop in a wheelchair nursing her little Australian terrier, Bobs, at ACU North Sydney by sculptor Linda Klarfeld
Around 1897 Mary was presented with this well-trained and playful Australian Terrier, called 'Bobs'.

Her Death

MacKillop died on 8 August 1909 at the Josephite convent in North Sydney. She was laid to rest at the Gore Hill cemetery, a few kilometres up the Pacific Highway from North Sydney.

After MacKillop's burial, people continually took earth from around her grave. As a result, her remains were exhumed and transferred on 27 January 1914 to a vault before the altar of the Virgin Mary in the newly built memorial chapel in Mount Street, North Sydney.The vault was a gift of Joanna Barr Smith, a lifelong friend and admiring Presbyterian.

Becoming a Saint

In 1925, the Mother Superior of the Sisters of St Joseph, Mother Laurence, began the process to have MacKillop declared a saint and Michael Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney, established a tribunal to carry the process forward.

The process for MacKillop's beatification began in 1926, was interrupted in 1931 but began again in April 1951 and was closed in September of that year. After several years of hearings, close examination of MacKillop's writings and a 23-year delay, the initial phase of investigations was completed in 1973. After further investigations, MacKillop's "heroic virtue" was declared in 1992. That same year, the church endorsed the belief that Veronica Hopson, apparently dying of leukaemia in 1961, was cured by praying for MacKillop's intercession; MacKillop was beatified on 19 January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. Her canonisation was announced on 19 February 2010 and subsequently took place on 17 October 2010. This made her the first Australian to be recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church.



Representations film, drama, music, literature & culture

Several Australian composers have written sacred music to celebrate Mary MacKillop. In 2009 Nicholas Buc was commissioned by the Shire of Glenelg to write an hour-long cantata mass for the centenary of the death of Mary MacKillop.It was premiered by the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in Portland, Victoria.The Mass of Mary McKillop is a setting for congregational singing, composed by Joshua Cowie. Hymns specifically used in St Mary of the Cross celebrations including A Saint for Today and Mary MacKillop, Woman of Australia by Josephite Sister Margaret Cusack, and If I Could Tell The Love of God, In Love God Leads Us and Psalm 103 by Jesuit Priest Christopher Willcock.

MacKillop is also the subject of several artistic productions, including the 1994 film Mary, directed by Kay Pavlou with Lucy Bell as MacKillop; Her Holiness, a play by Justin Fleming; and MacKillop, a dramatic musical created by Victorian composer Xavier Brouwer and first performed for pilgrims at World Youth Day 2008 in Melbourne. Novelist Pamela Freeman's The Black Dress is a fictionalised biography of MacKillop's childhood and young adulthood.

In 2000, the State Transit Authority named a SuperCat ferry after MacKillop. In 2008, a railway bridge in Adelaide was named Mary MacKillop Bridge

 

Stamps and Coins

$1 Coin
2008 - Inspirational Australians - Mary MacKillop
coin
2010 Saint Mary MacKillop 1oz Silver Proof Dollar Coin
Stamp
2010 Canonisation Stamp
 

 

 

Did You Know?

Summary of Mary MacKillop's Life

• MacKillop founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. The order now has more than 850 members, who run schools, aged care homes and do community work in Australia, New Zealand, East Timor, Ireland, Scotland, Peru and Brazil.

• MacKillop was born in Melbourne in 1842. She started work as a governess in the South Australian country town of Penola in 1861.

• MacKillop and English Priest Julian Tenison Woods opened their first school at Penola in 1866. A year later, she opened her first convent and school in Adelaide, and she took her religious vows in August 1867. Within five years, 40 schools, convents and four charitable institutions were founded.

• MacKillop regularly clashed with the male-dominated Church hierarchy over her wish to retain central control of her order. The ongoing tensions led to MacKillop being excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 1871. The excommunication order was removed five months later.

• MacKillop died in Sydney on August 8, 1909. She was buried at a local cemetery, but her remains were moved to a new memorial chapel in North Sydney in 1914.

• The first moves to have MacKillop canonized began in 1926. In 1973, the Vatican allowed MacKillop to have the title Servant of God, which gave formal approval to develop a case for sainthood. She was beatified in 1995 at a ceremony in Sydney during a visit to Australia by Pope John Paul II.

• In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI approved a second miracle attributed to MacKillop, which was the final step needed before she could be declared a saint.

Mary Mackillop was Canonised (made a saint) on 17th October, 2010.

 

Links:

Sisters of St Joseph: Mary MacKillop's Story

SOSJ
Mary MacKillop Penola Centre

Penola Centre
BTN 11 August 2009

BTN

BTN 12 October 2010

BTN 2010


MacKillop Musical by Xavier Brouwer

Musical

Australian Dictionary of Biography

ADB

ABC News 14 October 2010

ABC News
SBS News 11 October 2010

SBS
Flinders Ranges Research

Flinders Research


Catholic Education Office, Sydney [Video]

CEO Sydney

A ten minute audio visual presentation about the life of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, commissioned by the Catholic Education Office Sydney, on behalf of 27 schools associated with the Sisters of Saint Joseph. It was distributed by the CEO to 147 schools for the Feast Day of Saint Mary MacKillop, on 8 August 2011.
ABC - Australians

ABC Australians


Wikipedia

Wikipedia
O Mother Mary of the Cross - Song

Song
Catholic Online - St Mary MacKillop

YouTube: Shaping a Nation: St Mary MacKillop
https://youtu.be/eOqGWciHi70



YouTube: The Life of Mary MacKillop [for younger students - Year 3]

 

 

YouTube: Mary MacKillop's SA story (ABC News Story)

 

 

YouTube:Mackillop the musical

 

YouTube:Rehearsals for MacKillop musical

 

 

 

 

Activities

The MacKillop-Josephite Charism - Word document.
PrimaryPrimary TeacherTeacher

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

This document contains numerous activities for students to undertake - developed by the Brisbane Archdiocese CEO. Detailed guides for Teachers are given as well as websites and information.

 

Mary MacKillop - Liturgical Dance (idea from Lia Marin, ACU Education student)

PrimaryPrimary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

 

1. Listen to the song "Saint Mary MacKillop" by Gary Pinto: - (Download on iTunes)

 

2. Look at the words Gary Pinto used [from Church Music link]:

VERSE 1

In sacrifice, You lived your life

And in God’s Will, You found your delight.

Child of God, Bride of Christ

Djurumin and shining light.

Through the Cross you show hope to everyone

Shining in the heart of the great southern land.



CHORUS

Saint Mary is your name

The angels rejoice.

Through your life you proclaimed

the Name above all names.

Helper of the poor

Mother of the lonely

Pray for us.



VERSE 2

You Lifted the head

Of fallen ones.

Raising them up, you helped them to stand.

With all your heart

You served The Lord.

And through God’s Love

You cared for the poor.

Through the Cross you show hope to everyone

Shining in the heart of the great southern land.



CHORUS

BRIDGE

And the heavens sing

Alleluia, Jesus reign.

Oh, children of the world shall sing

Alleluia

St Mary pray for us.



Saint Mary is your name

The angels rejoice.

Through your life you proclaimed

The Name above all names.

CHORUS

Pray for us {“Mary MacKillop, Mary MacKillop”}

(Repeat phrase as needed)

Pray for us


3. In a group of 4 - 5 students, create actions to go along with this song. Combine the actions into a dance. This is to be a liturgical dance - one that can be performed at a liturgy.

4. What colour scarves would you use? 

5. Video and photograph your dance and using WeVide, edit to create a new video

WeVide

 

 

What does a uniform mean? (contributed by Genevieve Albert)

PrimaryPrimary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability
Literacy
Australian Curriculum General Capability:
Literacy

1. In groups of 3 - 4 students, look at the following image:  

with another nun
(Source: Walking SA)

 

2. You will notice that St Mary MacKillop, along with her fellow nun, wore a habit. It has a symbol sown onto her habit. The Josephites were called "Brown Joeys" and you can see why from the following display habit from the Mary MacKillop Hall and Museum at Eden.

Habit
(Source: Mary MacKillop Hall and Museum, Eden)

The following is an explanation of the meaning of the symbol at the front of the habit.

Meaning of Symbol

"In the typical Roman Catholic or Anglican orders, the habit consists of a tunic covered by a scapular and cowl, with a hood for monks or friars and a veil for nuns; in other orders it may be a distinctive form of cassock for men, or a distinctive habit and veil for women. Modern habits are sometimes eschewed in favour of a simple business suit. Catholic Canon Law requires only that it be in some way identifiable so that the person may serve as a witness of Gospel values." (Source: Wikipedia)

What does this mean for nuns and priests today? What are the symbols that show they are a nun or a priest?

3. List  a range of uniforms that show what a person does in their lives [job] or what they believe in and make a presentation showing this list. For example, a doctor might have a white lab coat and a stethoscope. You need to give an explanation of why you think this uniform shows their job.

4. You are to create a song to go with your presentation. Here is a song based on "What do you want to be?" to give you some ideas but remember this time you are to concentrate on the uniform to show the job!

Jobs Song | What Do You Want To Be?
https://youtu.be/MdvTlQzsaYI

 




How will you be remembered?

MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

Critical
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

 

1. Mary MacKillop is often portrayed as a young nun full of hope, aspirations and energy.

Mary MacKillop
with children The sculpture commemorates Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph order. The blessing and dedication of the statue was the first of a number of events held to celebrate the centenary of Mary's 1909 death.

The 2.7 metre bronze sculpture shows Mary MacKillop holding hands with two children, Maggie and a young aboriginal boy, Jimmy walking with Mary, as she accompanied children home after school lessons.

Location Address: Mary MacKillop Plaza , St Francis Xavier`s Cathedral, Adelaide, 5000
State: SA

Monument Designer: Judith Rolevink
Mary was also portrayed as an old lady in a wheelchair  
  in a wheelchair

 

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