About St Mary
Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne in 1842 and died in Sydney in 1909. She took the religious name Mary of the Cross. Responding to the isolation of colonial families she pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children. She and her sisters shared the life of the poor and the itinerant, offering special care to destitute women and children. Mary is remembered for her eagerness to discover God's will in all things, for her charity in the face of calumny and for her abiding trust in God's providence.
The charisms of the Josephite sisters, that live the vision of Mary MacKillop can lead us to ways of being and acting that challenge and transform our lives and give us the opportunity to be the change we wish to see in the world:
Radical Trust: The concept of radical trust comes from Mary MacKillop’s conviction that God would always provide and that if she set her heart on loyal service of the Church and the vision of Jesus, then material needs would be taken care of.
Discernment: We are called to discern the urgent needs of our time and to act accordingly, and to look for those who are voiceless and excluded in our world. We can reflect upon the radical response of Mary MacKillop and her companions to the “misery and wretchedness” of our era.
Faith: The spirituality of Mary MacKillop calls us to a commitment to our own conversion on a daily basis: it is an acknowledgement that we are always on a journey to fulfilment and reconciliation.
Courage: Followers of the charism of Mary MacKillop are called to live lives of courage- not just to face the blocks of fear, conformity, lack of truthfulness, arrogance, entrenched attitudes and exclusion, but also to risk suffering and failure in the cause.
Simplicity: In the spirit of Mary MacKillop, we are called to live simply, in mind and heart, to travel lightly and to make room for all because we are not encumbered with too much nor desire to have it all.
Joy: Optimism is born out of courage and hope and so, we engage with the world as people of Resurrection. Believing that love is the key to eternal life, we exhibit a joy in life and death.
Wholehearted Generosity: The story of Mary MacKillop teaches us that our desire and commitment for union with God calls us to be wholeheartedly generous with who we are and what we have.
Mutual Relationship and Recognition: In the tradition of Mary MacKillop, communion is nurtured by a deep spirit of mutual respect and relationship. We must be the change we see in others.
Prayer: We do not live and work alone. We are called and chosen by an ever-present God who is our hope and our strength.
Contributer: Vanessa Hall, EO RE (North)
Ever generous God,
You inspired Saint Mary MacKillop
To live her life faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and constant in bringing hope and encouragement
to those who were disheartened, lonely or needy.
With confidence in your generous providence
and through the intercession of Saint Mary MacKillop
We ask that you grant our request……………….
We ask that our faith and hope be fired afresh by the Holy Spirit
so that we too, like Mary MacKillop, may live with courage, trust and openness.
Ever generous God hear our prayer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Teaching Resources about Ethos and Charism
Teaching Resources about St Mary's Canonisation
Contributer: Anne Victor, EO RE (South)