Marking 100 years of Mary MacKillop’s resting place.
Mary MacKillop Chapel, the resting place of Australia's first Saint, St. Mary of the Cross, is celebrating 100 years beginning Sunday 8 December 2013. To commemorate the first mass, held in December 1913, a Eucharist will be celebrated in the grounds of Mary MacKillop Place. The presider will be Bishop Terry Brady with Fr Ray Schmack concelebrating. The chapel and museum and grounds will be open to the public with food and merchandise stalls until 4pm.
Following the mass will be the opening of an exhibition, Marking a Centenary of the Resting Place of Mary MacKillop: a living and enduring Memorial for All Australians. The exhibition will present the centenary of the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel through the eyes of those personally connected to its history.
Edwina Huntley, curator of the exhibition, said: "We recognise that the chapel is a living and dynamic spiritual space and therefore of great significance for the Sisters of St Joseph and to the Australian Community. The exhibition will attempt to celebrate the generations of people who have worshipped and reflected in this Chapel."
Many items in the exhibition will be on display for the first time. Rare liturgical embroidery, examples of vestments made in France and brought to Australia, and handwork created by the Sisters for the embellishment of the Chapel as an act of religious devotion, are some examples of exhibited pieces.
St Mary of the Cross was born in Australia in 1842. Her life reflected that of a young Australian nation. She embodied the character that is integral to the Australian identity; a sense of fairness towards everyone; a willingness to stand on the side of the battlers, people who struggle in life, an ability to respect people from across all beliefs and cultures and a pioneering spirit. She died on 8 August 1909 and was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery until the Memorial Chapel was built.
Sister Monica Barlow, chairperson of the centenary committee said, "Mary MacKillop reinterment in Mary MacKillop Chapel on 28 January 1914 was a significant event for the sisters at that time. Thousands of pilgrims pray at her tomb today."
The Chapel built in 1913 in memory of Mary MacKillop, is of bluish bricks, with white stone dressings. The main entrance in Mount Street North Sydney, is highly ornamental; a beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart, stone traceried windows and the tall commanding spires of carved stone giving a fine effect as finish to the front. Entering the porch the beauty of the interior is striking.
To learn more about the Mary MacKillop Chapel Centenary celebration and exhibition, please contact Alexandria Cantali on 02 9739 2827 or 0414582876, or email email@example.com