Cathollc Archbishop Christopher Prowse will lead a pilgrimage commemorating Australia’s first saint Mary MacKillop to Eden this Saturday, August 11.
Australia’s patron saint Mary MacKillop had strong ties to the area and visited Eden in 1899 and 1901. Mary’s mother, Flora, was one of 76 people on the steamer Ly-ee-Moon who drowned on May 30, 1886. Her body was taken to Eden.
Speaking with the Magnet after last year’s successful pilgrimage, Archbishop Prowse said St Mary “never forgot the generosity and love and reverence of the people of Eden to her mother”.
St Mary was appreciative of the care and love shown to her mother and decided to send Sisters to establish a school in Eden.
Pambula Parish Pastoral Council’s Bernadette Wood said St Mary has played a significant role in establishing catholic education in the region and the pilgrimage is an opportunity to give thanks and to honour the patron saint.
The parish hopes that pilgrims will come from various towns and parishes across the region and beyond. Archbishop Prowse will lead pilgrims by private vehicle from St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra, at 8am.
At 11am pilgrims are invited to walk from Eden Aussie rules ground to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.
Participants are encouraged (where possible) to park a short distance from the church near the sports ground in Barclay St.
The walk will conclude with the blessing of a new bronze statue of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, by Archbishop Prowse.
A con-celebrated Mass will take place at noon followed by lunch and refreshments at 1pm. Sr Benedetta Bennett will deliver a talk outlining a brief history of St Mary and her strong connections to Eden.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the Mary MacKillop Hall, where there is a wonderful collection of memorabilia.
For catering purposes and dietary requirements, RSVP Sue Heffernan 0405 251 947 or Bernadette Wood 0429 774 119.