Mary's miracle survivor on life post- canonisation

Cancer survivor Kathleen Evans at the chapel in Kensington erected by Mary MacKillop and opened in 1876. Photo: Stephen Gray


In a 1997 Commodore station-wagon, towing a 33-year-old caravan, sit Kathleen and Barry Evans travelling south from New South Wales to Penola, and then on to Adelaide, reports Rebecca Digirolamo in Southern Cross.

The Newcastle couple seem ordinary enough – grey nomads on the open road. But theirs is a very special journey, one which both husband and wife had never planned but have fully embraced despite the many sacrifices they have had to make along the way.

“I’m just a very ordinary person,” says Kath. Her miracle cure in 1993 from untreatable and aggressive lung cancer, which had spread through to her glands and brain, is Mary MacKillop’s story, not her own, says the 67-year-old grandmother.

 “I really was just that last piece of the jigsaw.” Kathleen’s dramatic recovery from cancer without medical treatment after praying for divine intercession through Mary MacKillop was the second miracle recognised by the Vatican in December 2009 and which delivered Australia its first saint.

The first miracle attributed to Mary MacKillop was that of a woman cured of terminal leukaemia in 1961.

Kath is now in Adelaide re-tracing the steps of Mary MacKillop in the very early years of the saint’s pioneering establishment of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in South Australia. Kathleen and Barry want to share their experience of Mary MacKillop with as many people as possible.

 “We are just taking our story further afield and it is a good story,” says Kathleen. “People want to hear good stories; they are looking for them and my story helps people because I’m just an ordinary person that they can relate to.”

The couple will be holding public sessions at the Sisters of St Joseph Province Centre, in Kensington this month following similar talks in parishes and schools in New South Wales and Victoria and most recently in Penola, where Mary MacKillop and Father Tenison Woods started the Jospehite order and their first school.

FULL STORY Spreading a good story (The Southern Cross)

RELATED COVERAGE: Kathleen Evans speaks out for the first time

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