A total of $200,000 in donations is being sought to help build the museum, planned to open early next year, at Kensington where a former exhibition centre at Mary’s old home and convent closed last year.
It will form part of a new precinct between Portrush Rd and High St, which includes St Joseph’s Chapel, a reflective convent gardens and a proposed walking trail to Norwood in partnership with the local council.
Redevelopment co-ordinator Sr Mary Ryan said the new museum will serve as an attraction to international visitors and pilgrims.
“It will be a contemporary museum depicting the life and times and ongoing influence of one of the mighty figures of Australian history — she who was dubbed ‘A Saint For All Australians’,” she said.
“It still strikes me every day to actually walk here where she used to work and lived.”
The Kensington site was where Mary lived, walked, prayed and worked for 11 years during the early and troubled beginnings of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, which she co-founded.
She was excommunicated from the Church in 1871 before the Sisters were reinstated in St Ignatius Catholic Church in Norwood and later in an existing convent at Kensington.
To mark the sesquicentenary of the foundation of the Sisters, the museum will feature a contemporary design incorporating digital and interactive displays and a new cafe.
The museum will tell Mary’s story and the work of the Josephites in more recent years.
Several key exhibition items will be on display, including a desk she received from the Sisters, letters she had written in crosshatch to save paper, her habit sleeve and part of her coffin sleeve.
Donations to the new museum can be made online at Chuffed.org.
New proposed Mary MacKillop museum at Kensington needs funds (The Advertiser)
Support needed for new Mary MacKillop museum (The Southern Cross)