Friday, April 22, 2022

Mary MacKillop 11

Tuesday 5th April 2022

Mass:  The rooftop garden of our hotel.


Sunrise Mass (Thank you Pauline for this photo).

Michael and Colleen, ever resourceful, found the perfect venue for our final Mass together - the rooftop garden of our Adelaide Hotel. It was a special moment for us when the sun rose over the city, symbolising a new beginning for us as we prepared to return to our far-flung homes and resume our everyday lives, enriched by the blessings of the last 11 days.

   Michael's daily handouts.

Thank you Michael for your daily handouts, thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented.  They were a daily source of inspiration, reflection and challenge, preparing us for new insights into the life and work of Mary MacKillop as we made new discoveries every day.

We were grateful to Harvest for making this pilgrimage possible, pleased to meet Philip, thankful to Michael our skillful bus driver and Colleen who cared for us so kindly.

Best wishes to our fellow pilgrims, and thank you for your friendship along the way.  We will pray for you as we now travel our separate paths, enriched by the new experiences we have shared.

Peter & Jan.

May God bless and strengthen you,
Confide all to God.
See how God carries us through the storms.
                                                                                 Mary MacKillop


Mary MacKillop 10

Monday 4th April 2022 

Mass:  St Patrick's Church, Adelaide

St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Adelaide (Photo: Wikimedia)

We drove from Lyndoch Hill in the Barossa Valley to Adelaide, and visited St Francis Xavier Cathedral.  The Cathedral was begun in 1858, but not completed until 1996.

Statue of Mary MacKillop in the Cathedral.

This sculpture, created in 2020 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Mary's canonisation, is the work of local South Australian artist Judith Rolevink.


Iron cross, from the original Cathedral Hall.

Answering a call of nature after the long bus trip from the Barossa Valley, Peter and I ventured into the Catholic Diocesan Centre next door to the Cathedral, and made this interesting discovery.  This iron cross stood on the table of the original Cathedral Hall built in 1865 and destroyed by fire in 1970.  Mary MacKillop opened her first school in Adelaide in this hall, and taught here herself, wearing the Josephite habit for the first time.

This hall was also the first residence of the Christian Brothers when they arrived in South Australia.

Enlargement of the plaque beside the iron cross.

Enlargement of the photo of Mary MacKillop beside the iron cross.  This photo was taken while Mary lived in Adelaide.

Sculpture of Mary MacKillo.

The blessing and dedication of the statue, by Judith Roevink, who also created the statue of Mary inside the Cathedral, was the first of a number of events to celebrate the centenary of Mary's 1909 death.  The 2.7 metre bronze sculpture shows Mary holding hands with two children, Maggie and a young Aboriginal boy, Jimmy.

Bishop Greg O'Kelly, who we saw later, said he liked this statue of Mary as it showed her as being young, pretty, active and happy, as opposed to some of the more solemn and formal pictures we have.

St Patrick's Church, Adelaide.

The original building on this site was the first Catholic church in Adelaide, and Mary MacKillop worshiped here from 1867-71.  Mary's spiritual mentor, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, was ordained here in 1858, before St Francis Xavier Cathedral was built, and was probably the only priest to be ordained in this church.

 Mass in St Patrick's church.

Here is Pauline introducing the Mass, which was concelebrated by Michael and retired Bishop Greg O'Kelly.

Retired Bishop Greg O'Kelly.

Franklin Street Convent, Schoolroom and Chapel.

Behind St Patrick's Church is the Franklin Street Convent, Schoolroom and Chapel, where Mary had a school.  In this picture you can also see Bishop Greg, Michael, Colleen and some of our pilgrims.

Bishop Greg in the Franklin Street Chapel.

Bishop Greg explains to our group of pilgrims that this is the very place where, completely against canon law, Mary was excommunicated by Bishop Sheil in September 1871.  The local clergy were divided over Mary's radical new Order of Josephites, and some pressured the Bishop to alter the Order's Rule of Life and to excommunicate Mary from the Church for alleged insubordination. 

Although her sisters were devastated, Mary wrote that in this moment she felt closer to God than ever.  "When I could not see my way, God kept my heart full of trust to make all come right."

After five months, Bishop Sheil rescinded her sentence and reinstated the Order.

Stable door in the Mary MacKillop Museum, Kensington, Adelaide.

We travelled to the Mary MacKillop Precinct in Kensington, where Mary lived  for 11 years from 1872 - 83.  The precinct consists of a chapel, where Mary prayed often, a hospitality centre and an interactive museum.  The recently refurbished museum includes sound pens, display boards, historic photos and letters, relics, art works, artifacts and memorabilia from the Josephite story.  

Above is the door from the stable where Mary taught.  I'm presuming this is the stable where Mary established her first school in Penola.  The door is enclosed in glass (or maybe perspex) so you can see my reflection, with Peter, taking the photo.

Enlargement of the sign on the stable door, which would have been typed 50 years ago.

Michael and Colleen at the Mary MacKillop sculpture beside St Francis Xavier Cathedral.

What an amazing pilgrimage this has been!  Thank you Michael for your spiritual direction every day, engaging us, jolting us out of our comfort zones, opening up new possibilities.  Thank you Colleen for your cheerful, efficient and loving care of us every step of the way, anticipating our needs and so calmly dealing with any unexpected changes of plans.

That night we enjoyed a farewell dinner celebration at a waterfront Italian restaurant, sharing reflections of a wonderful ten days with our new friends.  

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Mary MacKillop 9

Sunday 3rd April 2022.

Mass:  St Aloysius Church, Sevenhill. 

Sevenhill Centre of Ignation Spirituality, Clare Valley.

This is the birthplace of the Jesuits in Australia, offering a unique space for prayer and contemplation.  In 1850, Fr Aloysius Kranewitter purchased the land and named it Sevenhill after the famous "seven hills" of Rome.   The Jesuits of Sevenhill planted vines, built a church and opened a college, which became the first Catholic boys' school in the colony and also served as a seminary, attended by Mary MacKillop's spiritual mentor Fr Julian Tennyson Woods. 

In 1871, Mary stayed on the property and visited the college where her brothers Donald and Peter were students.  In time Donald became a Jesuit and served as Superior of the Daly River Mission. 

Sevenhill Cellars was first set up by the Jesuits in 1851 to produce sacramental wine.  Sevenhill is also highly regarded for its premium table wines.

St Aloysius Church, Sevenhill.

A magnificent example of Gothic Revival architecture, this historic church is set among the vines and gardens of Sevenhill Cellars. Built from local stone, it features a slate roof, Mintaro slate floors, exquisite stained-glass windows and a painting of the Madonna presented to the Jesuits by King Ludwig of Bavaria in 1848. We were given an interesting talk on the history and work of the Jesuit centre, and then celebrated Mass here.

                                                                 St Aloysius crypt.

The crypt, the only one of its kind in a parish church in Australia, is the final resting place for 41 Jesuits and, since 1901, only those who died at Sevenhill have been buried there.  There are only a couple of spots left!

Back at Lyndoch Hill, we were treated to a spectacular high tea.

"To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history.  To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves, in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe."

(Pope Benedict XVI, Nov 2010, from Day 10's handout.)

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Mary MacKillop 8

Saturday 2nd April 2022.

Mass:  St Joan of Arc Catholic Church Victor Harbor.

Victor Harbor to Barossa Valley. 

Sunrise from our patio at Victor Harbor.

St Joan of Arc Church, Victor Harbor.

Before our Mass at St Joan of Arc Church, we were given a very interesting talk by the Parish Priest Fr Vin.  He described the stained glass window in the church.  The centre panel depicting St Joan of Arc is over a hundred years old, while the two side panels are quite recent.  The design was developed after consultation with the local community and the Ramindjeri Ngarrindjeri elders. The windows express the people's relationship with Jesus and the Holy Trinity as expressed in their everyday circumstances.  As the disciples were often upon the shores of Galilee being invited to eat with Jesus, the people in the right hand window are a family (actually, a young family within the community) enjoying a beach barbecue together.

The church also features a traditional French fleur de lys window, to honour St Joan of Arc.

Cockle Train, Victor Harbor to Goolwa.

As a treat, Harvest had organised for us to take the Cockle Train along the scenic coastal route from Victor Harbor to Goolwa, a 30 minute trip.  The Cockle Train travels along the oldest steel railed railway in Australia, dating back to 1854, when it was constructed to provide a link between the Murray River and the ocean wharves at Port Elliot and Victor Harbor. It was called the Cockle Train because in the early days of settlement, the local residents would take a horse-drawn train to Goolwa to collect cockles to be used for bait from the sandy beaches near Murray mouth.  I was able to sit in the guard's compartment, with a great view.

Victor Harbor railway platform.

For effect, the platform at Victor Harbor featured luggage trolleys loaded up with milk churns and old-fashioned suitcases.  I have to admit that all of the items were familiar to me.

Hindmarsh Island Bridge.

A proposed bridge to Hindmarsh Island, near Goolwa, attracted opposition from many local residents, environmental groups, indigenous leaders and a group of Ngarrindjeri women elders who claimed that the site was sacred to them for "secret women's business".  The case attracted much controversy but the bridge was finally built in 2001.The railway line in this picture may possibly date back to 1854, but I suspect that it has been upgraded..

Autumn trees in Hahndorf.

We had lunch, and a wander around, in the pretty German town of Hahndorf.  Unfortunately, as we were leaving, our bus was attacked by a strategically placed branch which caused some damage to a window and the body of the bus, up high.  However, we were collected from Hahndorf by another bus, allowing our driver Michael to effect some temporary repairs, and continue our journey.  We all felt for Michael, as he was an excellent driver and very caring of our little group.  Sometimes, as in this case, mishaps can bring people even closer together. We continued on to our accommodation at Lyndoch Hill, in the Barossa Valley.

Some fast dancing after dinner.  (Thank you Angela for this picture!) 

"Whatever we say about creation we are saying about God.  Creation expresses the creator; it is an outward expression of God's love and grace.  Creation is the book that tells us about God, because God is the author of creation."  (From Day 7's handout.)

Monday, April 4, 2022

Mary MacKillop 7

Friday 1st April 2022.

Mass:  Our Lady Star of the Sea Robe.

Penola to Victor Harbor

Today our journey was from Penola to Victor Harbor, quite a lot of driving.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Robe. 

This church was commissioned by Fr Julian Tenison Woods and built in 1859.  The Josephite Sisters set up a school in this church in 1868 and continued until 1882, living in the sacristy and teaching in the body of the church.   Mary was a source of strength and inspiration to her religious sisters through her regular visits. We celebrated Mass in this beautiful little church.

Lake Butler Marina, Robe. 

Larry Lobster, Kingston. 

We had lunch near here, but I don’t think anyone had lobster. 

The Coorong,

We drove along the Coorong, a district which extends 140 kilometres along the coast from the southern bank of the Murray beside the long narrow Coorong Lagoon. 


These lakes used to be fresh, but since white settlement, and irrigation from the Murray, there is now not enough fresh water in the Murray to flush them out, so they are now saline. 


The mighty Murray at Murray Bridge. 

View from our patio at McCracken Country Club, Victor Harbor. 

"Contemplative silence is loving attention.  It is our gift to God who is already lovingly, silently in our presence.  Simplicity is the essence of contemplation."  (From Day 7's handout).

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Mary MacKillop 6

Thursday 31st March 2022.

Penola:  "Where it all began".

Mass:  St Joseph's Church Penola.

St Joseph’s Church, Penola. 

The stained glass window in St Joseph’s Church, located on the site of the first St Joseph’s Church completed by Fr Woods in 1859.  We celebrated Mass in this church.

Fr Julian Tenison Woods.

It was in Penola that Mary first met Fr Woods, and here that the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart began. 

Mosaic of St Mary in the church.

House in Petticoat Lane.

A local volunteer gave an entertaining commentary on a bus trip around Penola.  Petticoat Lane contained some interesting houses.

Another house in Petticoat Lane.

Mary MacKillop Park, Penola.

Mary MacKillop Park is the site that formerly housed an old stable which served as Mary’s first classroom and marked the beginning of the Josephite order. 

Woods MacKillop Schoolhouse, Penola.

The Woods MacKillop Schoolhouse was completed in 1967 after Mary’s classes outgrew the original stable. 

Michael conducts a singing lesson in Mary’s Schoolhouse. 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. 

Michael rang the bell and told us we could go to lunch. 

Mary’s Curriculum and Timetable. 

Mary’s two miracles. 

The first miracle. 

The second miracle. 

"Whatever troubles may be before you, accept them bravely, remembering whom you are trying to follow.  Do not be afraid.  Love one another, bear with one another, and let charity guide you all your life."
                                                                                                                                                               Mary MacKillop.