Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn will this weekend lead a pilgrimage to Eden to commemorate St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, whose feast day is today. Source: Eden Magnet.
Australia’s first saint had strong ties to the area and visited Eden in 1899 and 1901. St 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 to take part in the pilgrimage on Saturday.
Archbishop Prowse will lead pilgrims by private vehicle from St Christopher’s Cathedral, Canberra, at 8am. At 11am pilgrims will walk from Eden's football ground to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.
Archbishop Prowse will bless a new bronze statue of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and celebrate Mass. Sr Benedetta Bennett RSJ will deliver a talk outlining a brief history of St Mary and her strong connections to Eden.
Archbishop to lead Mary MacKillop Eden pilgrimage (Eden Magnet)
Saint Mary MacKillop Feast Day (Sisters of St Joseph)