Thoughts and sharings on Catholic feast days.

Aug 082013

Today we celebrate the feast day of Australia’s first saint ~ Mary MacKillop.

St. Mary Mackillop E

Mary was born in Melbourne in 1842 and died in Sydney on the 8th August 1909. She responded to the isolation of colonial families and pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children.

Mary and her sisters shared the life of the poor, offering special care to destitute women and children. She will be remembered for her eagerness to discover God’s will in all things, and for her abiding trust in God’s providence.

Pray to be ever ready for God’s will, even when it takes you by surprise.    1880

Do all you can with the means at your disposal and calmly leave the rest to God.    1891

Never see a need without doing something about it.

Try to at least excuse what you cannot understand.   1877

God Bless.

Aug 102009

On Saturday 8th August, Australia celebrated the anniversary of Blessed Mary Mackillop’s death. Mary is our First Australian Saint. She Co-founded Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart 1866.
8th August 1909
19th January 1995

Here is an article published by the Australian Catholic Leader  titled Mary Mackillop – True Australian Hero, that you may like to read.

More details of her story is available at the Sisters of St Joseph web site.

Some of Mary’s quotes –

Try always to be generous with God – 1882

Be calm and full of hope – 1881

There where you are you will find God – 1871

God gives me strength for what is necessary – 1907

God’s love is too deep for words to express – 1870

Many things that seemed unaccountable worries have proved indeed to be hidden blessings – 1870

May 312009

Pentecost is the great festival that marks the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost means “fiftieth day” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.

Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus’ mother and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day of Passover.  While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads.  This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel. Joel 2:28-29

How beautiful to know that the theme for World Youth 2008 in Sydney was from Acts 1:8

When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.

Indeed this is what happened 2000 years ago and is continuing today.

When the day of Pentecost came all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there was what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were filled with the Holy Spirit…….. Acts 2:1-4

Red is the liturgical colour for this day.  Red recalls the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended on the first Pentecost.  The colour red also reminds us of the blood of the martyrs.  These are the believers of every generation who by the power of the Holy Spirit hold firm to the true faith even at the cost of their lives.

Here we are in the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit – our youth and our land will have been touched in many ways by the Holy Spirit.

What occurred in Sydney 2008 was no coincidence, it was God-incidence.

Are we ready for Him? Are we ready for a great revival in our land?

Do we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit?

Will we accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit and USE them, not just for ourselves but for the good of others as it was intended?

Happy Birthday Dear Church

Happy Pentecost to You All.

May 242009


I have posted about Our Lady of the Southern Cross previously but I just had to post again as today,  May 24th, is the feast of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians – under the title of Help of Christians. In 1844, Mary, under this title was chosen as the patroness of Australia at the First Provincial Synod of Sydney. This statue of Mary, Help of Christians, stands in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, Australia. The Cathedral was dedicated in her honor by the Irish pioneer priest, Fr. John Therry who arrived in Sydney in 1820 and assumed responsibility for the planning and initial construction of the Cathedral.

Mother and virgin, she is the Patroness of Australia, under the title “Help of Christians.” Under the title of ‘Our Lady of the Southern Cross’ she is patron of the Australian Diocese of Toowoomba and of WYD08.

The title of ‘Southern Cross’ derives from  the constellation of stars seen only from the southern hemisphere. Mary is the  Help of Christians as she leads all people to her Son. She is our help and our advocate.

Artist Paul Newton shares about his painting –

“She is totally focused upon him and holds him affectionately to herself,” …… “At the same time she holds him so as to face us, the viewers, as if presenting or giving him to us.

“I wanted to suggest in Mary’s demeanour serenity and great humility, not drawing attention to herself but rather to her son.

God first entered the world through Mary,  who is ‘full of grace’ (Luke 1:28), when Jesus was born, and Jesus performed  his first public miracle at her prodding. She was centrally present when the  Spirit was poured out upon the nascent Church at Pentecost, fulfilling the  promise ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you  will be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8). She teaches us how to allow God to be poured  out upon the world through us, to ‘magnify’ Him (c.f. Luke 1:46-55), so that He  can be seen, known, loved and worshipped.


Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia, Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.

To thee we consecrate our country, our families, our hearts, our souls and all that we have.

And in order that this consecration may be truly effective and lasting, we renew today the promise of our Baptism and Confmnation; we undertake to live as good Christians -faithful to God, the Church and the Holy Father. We desire to pray the Rosary, partake in the Holy Eucharist, attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month and work for the conversion of sinners.
Furthermore we promise, O most holy Virgin, that we will zealously spread devotion to thee, so that through our consecration to thine Immaculate Heart and through thine own intercession, the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in the world may be hastened. Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval.


Something About Mary is being hosted by JMJ at Totus Tuus Family

Jan 272009

St Angela Merici a

Saint Angela Friend of Girls

and Patroness for handicapped people, loss of parents and against sickness.

Angela inspired devout women in their vocation.


If according to times and needs you should be obliged to make fresh rules and change current things, do it with prudence and good advice.

Be sincerely kind to every one according to the words of our Lord: “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Thus you are imitating God, of whom it is said: “He has disposed all things pleasantly.” And again Jesus said: “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”


Angela Merici founded the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women.

As a young woman she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (now known as the Secular Franciscan Order), and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like St. Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed.

At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.
Saint of the Day

More on St Angela Merici cna be found here .

St. Angela Merici is my patron saint for 2009.

Sep 292008

Today being the feast day of SS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael I felt led to write a short post as they are among my favourites.

St Michael – whose name means “Who is like God?”, is found in the Book of Daniel (chapters 10 & 12), the Book of Revelation (12:7-9) and the Letter of Jude (9). He is one of the principal angels.

St Gabriel – whose name means “Power of God”, is the archangel who stands in the presence of God (Luke 1:19). He is also found in the Book of Daniel (8: 16; 9:21) and in the New Testament (Luke1:10 and 19; Luke 1:26). He is the patron of postal, telephone and telegraph workers.

St Raphael – whose name means “God has healed”, is found in the Book of Tobit (12: 12 and 15). He is the patron of travellers.

Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides.