THE VATICAN will get its first Australian saint on October 17 and Maryborough will celebrate the historic event with a strong personal link.
“This parish of St Mary’s Maryborough, has a very close connection with the soon-to-be-canonised Mary MacKillop,” Maryborough parish priest Father Paul Kelly said yesterday.
“Mary MacKillop’s order of Josephite nuns, the Sisters of St Joseph, staffed the parish school here from 1870-1880.
“St Joseph’s school and convent was the third one established by Mary MacKillop in Qld.
“I’m told it was visited personally by Mary MacKillop in 1875 and again in 1880.”
Father Kelly said the saint-in-waiting’s mentor, Father Julian Tennyson Woods was present at the blessing of the St Mary’s Church in 1872 and preached the sermon.
On September 30 at 3pm, Father Kelly will celebrate a special Mass at St Mary’s Church in Maryborough, for the reception of the Mary MacKillop Pilgrim Cross.
“This pilgrim cross has been made from wood taken from the original school house at Penola in South Australia, where Mary MacKillop lived and worked and has been brought to each of the places in the country where Mary MacKillop’s order ministered.
“A Mary MacKillop Novena will be held at St Mary’s primary school on Friday October 8 at 9.30am.
“There will be members of the Brisbane Catholic Education Leadership team coming as well as sisters from Mary MacKillop’s own order: Sisters of St Joseph.”
On Saturday, October 16, local Catholics will gather at 1pm at the Old Maryborough Cemetery at the domed chapel and move in procession for a short prayer service at the graves of the two Josephite nuns.
“For those who want a special treat, Sunday evening from 5.30pm until 8pm, we are planning on having a televised viewing of the canonisation in St Mary’s College hall, with people bringing food to share.”