Our Patron - St Mary MacKillop


​Children's Prayer to
 Saint Mary MacKillop

God, who loves us dearly,
we thank you for the life of
Saint Mary MacKillop.
She showed us how to love and
care for each other
and how to trust you when
everything seemed wrong.
We ask her to pray for us at this time.
May Saint Mary MacKillop
help us to follow Jesus always.
We ask this through Jesus.

In the rugged rural life of 19th century Australia, Mary MacKillop was a woman with a mission to children caught in the poverty trap.

​ ​mmcollagelarge.jpg 
(used with permission - Sisters of St. J
Mary was an Australian woman, of Scottish descent, born in Melbourne in 1842.

As a young woman she became concerned that so many children in rural Australia could not afford to be educated. Mary knew that education was a key to freedom and that it was unfair that so many children should be denied access to education.

She also knew that God's love was the greatest freedom of all, and that through the right sort of education children could come to learn about God's love.

Together with her friend, Fr Julian Tennison Woods, she developed a plan for starting up schools for children caught in the poverty trap. Her dream was to tap their human potential and draw them closer to Jesus Christ.

She gathered other like-minded girls and young women and put her plan into action. These women became the community of religious sisters known as the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Their work had marvellous results. But it also aroused opposition. Like Jesus, Mary was persecuted and criticised. Sometimes by malicious gossip in the press. Sometimes by her own friends. Sometimes by people in high places. At one point, a bishop wrongfully excommunicated her! Mary and her companions were shattered. But they patiently endured the ordeal and after six months the bishop realised his mistake and withdrew the excommunication.

We honour Mary MacKillop because she was a courageous Australian who, at great cost to herself, followed her dream to spread the Good News to the children of Australia.

Source: Antioch youth leaders' outlines (National Antioch 1995)​ ​ ​ ​ ​


'We have come here at the
call of our God'
Mary MacKillop in a letter to her Sisters 1875
​'The poor deserve the best
we can offer'
a saying of Mary MacKillop
​'That kind lady, and holy nun that
she was,
saved my wife and me
from starvation.
She came to us in
our direst need and
brought food
and clothing.'
A shopkeeper, speaking of Mary
after her death in 1909
​'Mary MacKillop was one of
those rare people who lived
"social justice" rather than
talked about it.'
Kathleen O'Connor rsj ​

If y

ou would like to learn more about Mary MacKillop
there are numerous resources available in our school library.​ ​


​Portrait of St Mary MacKillop

by Ms Jo Muprhy,
Artist and Art Teacher at
Mary MacKillop Catholic
Primary School, Birkdale
(completed 2007)