Sunday 17 October 2010

Holiness for Australia

Holiness is Australia's first call and greatest challenge. Today Mary of the Cross is proclaimed a Saint of the Universal Church; she who made the Gospel visible in Australia is Australia's first saint. Her name tells us much - St Mary of the Cross exchanging "MacKillop" for "the Cross" - has claimed Australia for Christ. Who could have expected that this humble, but very real woman, would in this very secular age stand at the very forefront of Australian civilisation and reveal its true calling. Australia will not be the same from this day; the character of holiness is subject to no earthly forum. The Church, for all ages, will now give thanks to God for having raised up such a noble woman, such a beautiful saint in this Southern Land.
Some weeks ago the seminary community made a pilgrimage to her tomb in the Josephite church in North Sydney. The very dignified tomb of St Mary MacKillop has been drawing huge numbers of pilgrims, both the baptised and the non-baptised. Indeed, St Mary of the Cross is the pioneer of the movement of holiness in Australia, and she is already the friend of a multitude.

Last week the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Sydney held a day of Festival in her honour. The photo below was taken in the University courtyard just before the afternoon Mass. How wonderful that a whole generation of students are having their young lives impacted by the joy, sensibility and holiness of the grace of Australia's saint - this will have a greater effect on the life of this country than whole empire of modern secularism in all its pathetic emptiness.

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