Australia in waiting for St Mary Mac: Sister to tell Pope

When she meets Pope Benedict, North Sydney's Sr Anne Derwin will "quietly whisper" in his ear that Australia is waiting for Blessed Mary MacKillop to be canonised.

Aware that pressure is mounting on the Vatican to announce when Australia's most famous nun will be canonised, the Sisters of St Joseph, led by Sr Anne, will make sure the Pope has their ear when he visits Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney today, the North Shore Times reports.

Pope Benedict will enter the chapel, have a private moment of prayer at Mary's tomb and receive a special gift from the Sisters.

One hundred of the Sisters will be present, out of a congregation of 900, and the Pope will meet 12 during the private visit.

"I will welcome the Pope at our door just as you would greet a visitor to your home," Sister Anne said.

"At this stage I will whisper in his ear that Australia is waiting for Mary to be made a saint for the world.

"I expect to be very natural on the day and will respond to the moment, so I won't prepare a speech.

"But I do want to say that I think this is something our whole country would love, even if you are not Catholic it would be acknowledgment of an Australian on the world scene.

"When he is ready to canonise her, we will welcome the news with great joy."

Next year is the 100th anniversary of her death in North Sydney and Sr Anne said it would be an appropriate time to award her a sainthood.

"The (canonisation) process started in 1925 and on a scale of 1 to 10 we are up to 9.7," she said.

"There are just a few little tests to pass in Rome and then a recommendation will be made to Pope Benedict.

"A lot of evidence had to be gathered to prove that she had natural goodness in her life."

Meanwhile, World Youth Day ambassadors Sophie Delezio and her family will also make a personal plea.

The seven year old carried a prayer card and relic of the nun into every operation after she suffered life threatening injuries in two separate car accidents.

Her father, Ron, said his family's prayers seeking Mary MacKillop's help contributed to his daughter's survival.

"In our hearts, we know that it was a miracle and we know the power of prayer," he said.

"We'll do what we can and we will be whispering to the Pope about doing the right thing."

Mr Delezio said his family was proud to open an exhibition, In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop, on Friday.


The woman who'll be having a word to the Pope about Mary (North Shore Times, 16/7/08)

Nuns Hope Pope is Inspired to make Mary MacKillop a Saint (Epoch Times, 16/7/08)


Mary MacKillop (Sisters of St Joseph)


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