Mary Helen MacKillop was born in 1842, in Victoria, Australia. She was the first-born child of Alexander MacKillop and Flora (nee McDonald). Whilst Mary grew up in a poor home, her parents gave her a good education and a solid grounding in the Catholic faith.

It was during her time as a governess in Penola, South Australia that Mary met Fr Julian Woods. Mary had long desired to devote her life to God. Thus, after a period of time where she had to care for her own family, Mary commenced what was to become a life dedicated to God, teaching and the sharing of the Catholic faith, especially amongst the poor.

For more information about Mary MacKillop, please visit the site of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

"Our Lady of the Southern Cross - Help of Christians" used with permission of the painter, Paul Newton

17 October 2019