One month has past since 17th October, 2010, where we gathered in St Peter's square to hear the announcement by Benedict XVI - Mary of the Cross. Now officially we can plead St Mary of the Cross - pray for us. Singing the Litany of Mary MacKillop we can replace blessed with saint. So what. I pause to wonder - what difference does Mary's canonisation make. Does the fact my sister is St Mary somehow make me more whole, more holy? No. Does the fact that St Mary of the Cross is named in the canon of saints help feed the hungry, clothe the naked? No. So what?
So...because of the canonisation event our lives will never be the same. Blessed Mary MacKillop has been claimed by a far greater group than the sisters, the associates and the past pupiles and co-ministers in mission. Her story, her passion are inspiring to the universal Church, in fact the whole of the world - religious or not. This recognition of a desire to bring the Reign of God questions ordinary people to do likewise in ordinary ways, where-ever they are and where-ever they might be. And all of a sudden Sisters of St Joseph are recognisable. Not by the traditional habit or indeed the teal scarfs people know that we are Mary's girls.
On a personal level I have a wider appreciation of what it means to be part of this institution we call Church that is universal and including. I also have a greater sense of my own vocation that this is more than God and I in commuity but God, I and a whole lot of other people of goodwill.
St Mary of the Cross, pray for us.
Reprinted with permission from Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.