For me the pilgrim walk in the ‘footsteps of Mary’ was very special.Listening to Sr Rita relay the thoughts and feelings of Mary as she arrived in Rome and faced the daily challenges of moving around a foreign city at a time of great tension between Church and Government.
Here was a woman, religious, alone in a foreign country in 1873, not knowing a soul, often suffering ill health, determined to secure the Order with the protection of the Holy See.
Her courage and determination, her trust in God is what I will carry with me always.As we travelled around Rome (in an air conditioned bus with a tour guide) visiting many wonderful Cathedrals, Basilicas, the ‘best’ gelati shops and the odd souvenir shop it became more real and amazing that such a wonderful lady achieved so much with so little - with her God by her side.
Sr Kathy, Shirley, Toots Nev and Lynn
This great photo was taken by Herbie O'Flynn
Here are some thoughts from Shirley Topp after reflecting on the Canonisation Pilgrimage to Rome-
“The pilgrims in our group were inspiring and motivational”
“There was always something going on - the time we had was used to the maximum”
“Personally for me it was something that I will remember forever. Our moments of spirituality in the bus, while coming and going to events each day and the detail of Bishop Mark’s commentary as we went on our journey is etched in my memory. His spirituality and dedication were extraordinary and very inspiring to me personally”
“Saint Mary has performed many little miracles for me. What a graced time we had in Rome."
The death of Bishop Joe Grech is such a great loss. He was a beautiful man, who has for many years been charged by the fire of the Holy Spirit and has had an enormous impact on many, many lives.
I caught up with Bishop Joe and Bishop Putney in the dining room after the Canonisation of St Mary of the Cross and asked them what impacted them at the ceremony -
Bishop Michael Putney - I was waiting for the Pope to say Saint Mary MacKillop and he did when he was giving his English message at the end. He mentioned Australia for the first time and everybody cheered and screamed. That was the moment everybody was waiting for, to hear themselves named.
Bishop Joe Grech - It is good to see these terrific people, down to earth Australians with a big smile – ‘we have made it in the world’. Praise God, Amen
Bishop Joe Grech the main celebrant at Mass 6 May 2006 at Mary MacKillop Place North Sydney,this mass was offered for the Beaconsfield Miners in Tasmania and little Sophie Delezio.
Eternal Rest grant unto Bishop Joe Lord, may perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in your loving arms. Amen