Mary's Cross on pilgrimage

A PILGRIMAGE to mark the impending sainthood of Australian nun Mary MacKillop will stop briefly in Ipswich next Monday.

The MacKillop Cross, accompanied by the Knights of the Southern Cross, will be at the Yarrow Centre in the grounds of Redbank Plains State School, 55 School Road, at 9.30am.

It was made from 19th century timber taken from the original Sisters of St Joseph schoolhouse. Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Melbourne in 1842.

At 24, she became the first Sister and Mother Superior of the newly-formed Order of the Sisters of St Joseph.

Dedicated to the education of the children of the poor, it was the first religious order to be founded by an Australian.

The MacKillop Cross started its journey through Queensland yesterday at Maryborough.

St Mary’s parish priest Peter Casey said Mary MacKillop – soon to become Australia’s first saint – had started up a convent at Redbank Plains.

Catholics in Ipswich are preparing to recognise her canonisation in St Peter’s Square, Rome, on October 17. “Some are going to Rome,” Father Casey said.

“One of our masses on the Sunday will recognise her. We’ll have a special recognition of the value of her life.

“She contributed largely to education in rural areas.”

The Pilgrimage of the MacKillop Cross will also visit Helidon tomorrow for a mass at St Joseph’s Church, 35 Gunn Street, from 9am, and Allora on Sunday at St Patrick’s Church, Warwick Street, from 3pm.

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