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Mother Mary MacKillop
Title : Mother Mary MacKillop Mother Mary MacKillop
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Date of creation : ca. 1870
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
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Description :

Mother Mary of the Cross: founder of the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

In 1861 Mary MacKillop worked as a governess at Penola in the colony's South-East region, and witnessed first-hand the poverty and lack of adequate education of children in the district. With Roman Catholic priest Father Julian Tenison Woods, Mary founded 'The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart' at Penola on 19 March 1866. Members of the Josephite Order took a vow of poverty and dedicated themselves to educating poor children.

In 1867, Bishop Shiel asked Mary to start a school in Adelaide. From there, the Sisters' work extended to further South Australian settlements, and other locations around Australia and also in New Zealand. Following disputes within the Church, in 1871 Mary was excommunicated for alleged insubordination and the religious order was almost disbanded, but the excommunication was removed six months later, and in 1873 Papal approval for the Sisterhood was granted.

In addition to schools and convents, Mary opened various community care facilities including orphanages and centres for the homeless and destitute. However, opposition from bishops who wanted control of the Order from within the dioceses instead of central control from Adelaide caused conflict. In 1883 Mary moved the headquarters for the Order to Sydney where she died in 1909. Her beatification in 1995 was the first step towards ordination as a saint.

Related names :

MacKillop, Mary, 1842-1909

Tenison-Woods, J. E. (Julian Edmund), 1832-1889

Coverage year : 1870
Period : 1852-1883
Further reading :
Dunne, Clare. Mary MacKillop: no plaster saint: a pioneering woman of our time, Crows Nest, NSW: ABC Enterprises, 1991

Foale, Marie Therese. The Josephite story: the sisters of St. Joseph: their foundation and early history 1866-1893, Sydney: St. Joseph's Generalate, 1989.

Swiggs, Theresa, Jane Kowalczuk and Mary Jacquier. Mary MacKillop: a resource book, Kent Town, S. Aust.: Sisters of St. Joseph, 1995

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