The Council for Australian Catholic Women urges parishes and groups to celebrate the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842–1909) on August 8 this year.
As a significant Australian woman, the Council would like to see the inspiration of Mary MacKillop alive.
The Chair of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, Mrs Lyn Horner said, “St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, lived her faith in very practical ways. She relied on God to provide what was needed while she reached out to neglected children, the elderly, the poor and women in need. She is remembered and loved for her contribution to Catholic education across Australia and New Zealand.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop exhibited courage, trust, openness and deep faith through many trials. I hope that all Australian Catholics, especially women, will continue to be challenged and encouraged by Mary’s way of life.”
The Council for Australian Catholic Women has sent reminders and resources to each diocese in Australia to support the commemoration of the life and mission of Mary MacKillop. A copy of the resources is also available on the website of the National Office for the Participation of Women.
The life and spirituality of Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop was officially acclaimed by the Universal Church in her Canonisation on 17 October 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. As well as being honoured as the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph, many schools and agencies claim Mary MacKillop as their patron.
The Council for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) advises the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference through the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry. The CACW exists at the national level to ensure that the dignity of women is honoured and their gifts are given space to flourish for the sake of the Church’s life and mission (ACBC Social Justice Statement 2000).