I’ve had the great privilege of being in Rome with students, teachers and staff from our diocese for the canonisation of our first saint – Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Rome is such a special city – you not only see it but sense the excitement that comes from touching its history.
It has been amazing to watch as the Vatican prepares for the canonisation of six saints. Standing in the middle of St Peter’s Square and seeing the potrait of Mary MacKillop was awesome.
No trouble picking out the Australian accent, it was everywhere. There was a real sense of anticipation and excitement as the canonisation approached.
It reminded me of Sydney during World Youth Day and the 2000 Olympics.
Despite the dense crowds, the mood was one of pride and celebration. Italians have embraced this as well as churches across Rome prepared for this massive event. Our pilgrims have been having a great time just being part of something as significant as this.
As you would have seen on the news coverage, our politicians have been in Rome and I had the opportunity to chat with Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop and Queensland Senator, Barnaby Joyce as they wandered through St Peter’s Square.
This place is so special that it transcends the barriers that often exist between the secular and the religious. Kevin Rudd reflected on why Mary MacKillop is a woman and educator that all Australians can be proud of and the thought has been echoed by many others.