By Ms Matilda Mattar Social Justice and Service-Learning Leader

St. Mary Mackillop Pilgrimage 2023: A Journey of Spiritual Enlightenment

Three staff members from our beloved school embarked on a profoundly enlightening pilgrimage to honour the legacy of St. Mary MacKillop, a woman whose life was a testament to unwavering kindness, spirituality, and compassion. As we delved into her extraordinary story, the essence of her remarkable character came alive before our eyes.

One of the most striking facets of St. Mary MacKillop's life was her unending kindness. Her upbringing in a family of an intelligent, independent father and a God-fearing, kind-hearted mother laid the foundation for her remarkable journey. Her deep spirituality and abiding trust in her "good God" became evident as we retraced her footsteps.

St. Mary MacKillop's commitment to social justice and boundless compassion knew no bounds. Her love for her family and friends shone through her actions. Her belief in respecting and upholding the dignity of every individual was the guiding star in her life. She was a beacon of independence and strength, choosing to live among the community rather than within the confines of a convent.

During our pilgrimage, Sister Rita shared a charming anecdote that shed light on St. Mary MacKillop's sense of humour. It revolved around a young boy caught stealing a loaf of bread, who was sent to report to St Mary. Instead of reprimanding the boy, she asked if hunger had driven him to this act. When he admitted to it, she instructed him to return to the sister who had punished him and tell her that Mary had ordered another loaf to be given to him. This story revealed not only her sense of compassion but also her ability to see beyond the surface.

Another intriguing facet of St. Mary MacKillop's personality was her love for a game called the "providence bag." It's clear that she embraced moments of joy and playfulness even amidst her selfless work.

As we immersed ourselves in her life, we learned that St. Mary MacKillop's mother had imparted a powerful prayer to her and her siblings, a prayer that embodied her unyielding faith in Divine Providence. It serves as a reminder for all of us, even in the face of difficulties, to trust in God's care and providence.

Divine Providence can provide,
Divine Providence did provide,
Divine Providence will provide.
O merciful and all-provident God, hear our prayers and grant our petitions.

In the end, the St. Mary MacKillop Pilgrimage of 2023 was a profound journey that illuminated the life of a woman whose kindness, spirituality, and compassion continue to inspire us today. We carry forward the lessons learned on this pilgrimage, fostering these virtues within our school community, and honouring the legacy of St. Mary MacKillop in our hearts.

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