There is being fomented in the mass media considerable hype surrounding the suggestion that Blessed Mary Mackillop is about to be announced as a candidate for Canonisation. Media reports seem to attribute these suggestions to press releases from the Sisters of St.Joseph the Order which was co-founded by Blessed Mary Mackillop and Rev Father Julian Tennyson-Woods S.J.

This spectacle of the Sisters trying to pre-empt the Holy See's announcement, if it is in fact imminent, is hardly edifying. Of course many nuns have in the last 40 years developed lifestyles quite distant from the foundational charisms of their orders. The object of the media frenzy seems to be to put a certain "spin"on the life of Blessed Mary Mackillop, consistent with the mores of her present day - dare we say- "spiritual descendants". So she is being presented as one  who fought the Church ,and likened to present day radical nuns in the U.S.A. currently resisting the Apostolic Visitation set in train by the Holy See to address reports of manifest scandal in their ranks.

This is grotesque propagandising of the worst sort. Blessed Mary Mackillop endured a great deal of unfair treatment in her lifetime, from Bishops in Brisbane and Adelaide. But she worked with the Church to obtain justice . She co-operated with the Holy See and was fully vindicated. She not only suffered at the hands of those Bishops, but also at the hands (and gossiping tongues) of numbers of her Sisters. She would be greatly pained, were she not in Heaven, to see the behaviour of those who have abandoned life in community in many cases, bent vows of poverty in every direction and live in many cases in independent home units taking Government  rent subsidies meant for the poor.And vows of Obedience have been reduced to a sham by the espousal of "team Leadership"and talk of "empowerment" .Their religious habits have been abandoned for "Country Road"style dress, and jewellery is seen here and there, and Government wages are accepted and fees for "consulting"here and there. And radical feminism is the new raison d' etre of many.Vows of Obedience have been reduced to a sham by the espousal of "team Leadership"and talk of "empowerment" ..

No wonder the "good sisters"want to get control of Blessed Mary Mackillop's image. A traditional Saint - which she surely was - would be too embarrassing and cause people to wonder why the Sisters don't follow their Foundress. Much more comfortable to re-make HER in their image and likeness. 


Victoria said…
It is to hoped that no one brings the original charism of the order "up to date" and then "loses" the original.

Speaking of habits though, the Joey habit was very uncomfortable around the face.I can remember the young sisters at St Joseph's Teachers College in North Sydney with their red faced and running their fingers around their coifs (?) to get a bit of air in. I can't imagine what it must have been like for those sisters in the really hot parts of Australia.

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