St. MARY of the Cross and MOSS VALE

Mary Mackillop was born in Melbourne in 1842 and died in Sydney in 1909. There was very little by way of roads or public transport at that time but Mary was determined to set up schools in areas of need.
To quote one of the mottoes of the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph - founded by Mary in South Australia in 1866:

"Never see a Need Without Trying to Do Something About it"

Mary covered an incredible amount of territory in her 67 years, travelling by arduous modes of transport of the day including sailing ships to New Zealand, Rome and Ireland (when she brought back 15 postulants) and of course, horse and buggy to Moss Vale.

The Moss Vale Journeys
Kalaurgan House MV
9 February 1884 "The Mother General of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph leaves Sydney today (Saturday) for Moss Vale for the purposeof establishing in that district a branch of her order. Suitable premises have been secured for the Sisters, who we are informed commence work on Monday next" (The Express Newspaper) note: the premises were at 'Kalaurgan House' Browley Street, Moss Vale (photo right).

1 March 1884 "A convent school has been opened at Moss Vale and in consequence a number of children have been withdrawn from the public school" (The Express Newspaper).

19 April 1884 "Mass was celebrated here on Easter Sunday in the convent schoolroom" (The Express Newspaper)

18 December 1884 "Mary Mackillop's diary shows that she travelled to Moss Vale on 18 December 1884 and remained there till 22 December 1884. The people gave her fowls and geese to take home for Christmas. Mary wrote on the prizes which she distributed at the prize-giving and display on 19 December." (handwritten notes from "The Founding of St. Joseph's Primary School, Moss Vale.

Extracts from the letters of Mary Mackillop

1891 Sisters of St. Joseph saw a greater need in Mittagong and moved there. (Dominican Sisters took over Moss Vale school).

Mary Mackillop also wrote at this time words to the effect of: "the people of Moss Vale have an especial place in my heart"

Mary cared for the needy and marginalised and lived with courage in the face of difficulties. Mary has a special place in our hearts.

Dympna Irwin
Moss Vale Historian

Mary MacKillop was Canonised on 17 October, 2010 at St Peter's Basilica, Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Mary's sainthood during the Canonisation Mass.

Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure absolute accuracy of this information, the author cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from omissions or inadvertent errors contained therein.

More information about St Mary of the Cross is available at: Mary MacKillop

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