MacKillop pilgrimage in Ipswich

Francis Klein during the Mary Mackillop pilgrimage visit at Redbank Plains.
Francis Klein during the Mary Mackillop pilgrimage visit at Redbank Plains. Sarah Harvey

THE impending sainthood of Australian nun Mary MacKillop is capturing the attention of the whole of Australia.

On Monday, a pilgrimage leading up to the canonisation stopped briefly in Ipswich.

The MacKillop Cross, accompanied by the Knights of the Southern Cross, stopped off at the Yarrow Centre in the grounds of Redbank Plains State School.

It and a second cross were made from 19th century timber taken from the original Sisters of St Joseph school house in Penola, South Australia.

Redbank Plains State School was one of 15 Queensland schools established by Mary MacKillop.

It opened in 1874 as St Joseph’s Redbank Plains at what was then known as Redbank Plains School Road.

MacKillop Cross Pilgrimage State co-ordinator Damian Jones said the event had been a huge success.

“We’re travelling Queensland in preparation for Mary MacKillop’s canonisation,” he said.

“We’ve taken the cross as far north as Mareeba and we will spend the next couple of days in and around Brisbane.

“The cross will continue its journey until we reach Sydney on October 17, the date of the canonisation.”

A number of Catholics living in Ipswich are booked to travel to Rome to attend the canonisation in St Peter’s Square by Pope Benedict XVI.

Mary MacKillop was beatified in Sydney by Pope John Paul II in January 1995.

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