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Thursday, 04 August 2011 02:48

Reflecting on a day of great blessing

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"I'd just like to say I feel deeply, deeply peaceful and grateful to God for Mary MacKillop and so proud of our Australian nation and Church (who) have all been together with us on this occasion," Sister Anne said.

Sister Maria Casey, the Postulator for the Cause of Mary MacKillop said the canonisation was the end of a long journey.

"I felt very moved when the Holy Father actually spoke the words of the canonisation and I was able to look up at Mary looking down on us (on a banner) and looking out onto the Square and I thought 'Mary, we've acknowledged you at last'.

"And then through my mind went the day when I first met two Josephite Sisters, and something about their enthusiasm and the spirit that they had, that I didn't know then was Mary MacKillop's, touched me to the extent that here I am more than 50 years later, having joined them and stayed with them.

"It was a very powerful day and a wonderful culmination for the many, many people who have worked on this Cause since 1926 and the vision and foresight that they had in keeping her correspondence and keeping the memories of those early Sisters.

"And then I acknowledge Fr Paul Gardiner, who was the Postulator for very many years and who brought the Cause to the point where then I was appointed and was able to pick up.

For the Sisters of St Joseph who made the pilgrimage to Rome for the canonisation it was a day of deep significance.

Sister Sian Powell said that during the Mass in St Peter's Square their hearts were "bursting with pride and humility" as they sung the Gloria in praise of God.

"With great excitement and joy, as Mass concluded the ACU and Josephite choir sang to ask St Mary MacKillop to pray for us. For the first time."

Cardinal George Pell said the day was one of deep significance.

"Well this is a day of rejoicing and it's a day first of all for the Josephites. We rejoice for them, we rejoice with them. But it's also significant for the rest of us as Australians and as Catholic Australians," he said.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said it was a privilege to be leading the parliamentary delegation to the canonisation.

"Because this is a celebration not just for the Catholic Church in Australia, but for the entire nation," he said.

"As we've listened to the life of Mary MacKillop and read of the lives of those others canonised today, it gives you a genuine sense of smallness, that is, that these are truly great people who put themselves last and others first. And it is a humbling experience."

Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop agreed, saying the life and work of Mary MacKillop should be an inspiration for all Australians.

"Indeed I hope that as a result of her canonisation more Australians will come to understand the selfless dedication of Mary MacKillop and that her legacy is being carried on through the work of the Sisters of St Joseph today," she said.

"This is a day that we will never, ever forget and I feel really honoured to be a part of it."