Nanjing Night Net

‘We’ve done it, girls’: a Mass to remember

AS THE collection tray was passed around and the congregation queued to take communion, Sister Marie Dowling turned to her fellow sisters, beaming, and said: ”We’ve done it, girls.”The Sisters of St Joseph, Mary MacKillop’s North Sydney-based order, had reached the last step in the long road to the canonisation of their founding mother.Their excitement was evident in the jokes they cracked for the gathered camera crews, their joyful singing throughout Mass, and the fact that one of their number has already spread the news on Twitter.The 10am Mass at Mary MacKillop Chapel was overflowing with emotional congregants, some of whom were forced to stand.Worshippers broke into applause as the order’s head, Sister Anne Derwin, broke the news that the Vatican had recognised Mother Mary’s second miracle, clearing the way for her canonisation.Outside the church, worshippers smiled and wept from happiness.Beryl D’Cruz, who has attended the Mary MacKillop Chapel for more than a decade, attributed her daughter’s impending marriage to the intercession of Mother Mary.”I made the novena here … and the boy wrote to her five days later,” she said. The pair met at World Youth Day and will be married in January at Mary MacKillop Place.When asking for Mother Mary’s intercession, Mrs D’Cruz made sure to include a request for grandchildren.”I prayed for all things together. I said I want a fruitful marriage,” she said yesterday.Jemmel Sassine had been crying all morning, she said. She dragged her five children and husband out of bed to attend Mass at the chapel.”I have been praying to Mary for 15 years, I have had many miracles happen to me … from her,” she said.When she was pregnant with her fourth child, Mrs Sassine prayed to Mother Mary for a girl, and promised to call her Grace. Grace, now in primary school, was present at Mass yesterday. ”I believed in her. I know she had her moments in life when things didn’t go her way, and it related to my life,” Mrs Sassine said.Rosetta Babikiaf wiped away tears as she described how Mother Mary’s intercession cured her sister from cancer. ”She has been eight years in remission,” she said.There were rumours Nicole Kidman would visit the chapel for a private prayer session. The actress has prayed at the chapel before and is believed to have asked for Mother Mary’s help in conceiving her daughter Sunday Rose.Sister Derwin was unsure, when asked, of how Mother Mary herself might be celebrating the news of her canonisation in heaven.But the earthbound members of her order were going to have a long lunch.In Mother Mary’s South Australian home town of Penola yesterday, 100 or so parishioners gathered at St Joseph’s church to mark the occasion, including a group of students from Penola’s Mary MacKillop Memorial School.The woman who started their school a century-and-a-half ago and taught their ancestors is also defining their moral code.Friendly, helpful, loving, caring and forgiving were some of the words they used to describe Australia’s first saint.”A person who’s got lots of rosary beads and prays all the time,” Olivia Zema, 7, said.
Nanjing Night Net