Mary Mackilliop was born in Australia she was born on 15 January 1842 in Fitzroy, Melbourne, the eldest of eight children. Mary was attending at private schools but her father who had studied for the priesthood at Rome. To help her family Mary became in turn a shopgirl, a governess, and at Portland a teacher in the Catholic Denominational School of a small boarding school for girls. As she grew to womanhood Mary was probably influenced by an early friend of the family, Father Patrick Geoghegan, and began to love for a strictly penitential form of religious life. Concluding she would have to go to Europe to go ahead with her plan, she put herself under the direction of Father Julian Tenison-Woods who, as parish priest of Penola in South Australia sometimes visiting Melbourne and Portland, wanted to found a religious society, 'The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart' they were set to live in poverty and dedicate themselves to educating poor children. By then she started spelling her surname ‘MacKillop’. The Sisterhood had spread over to Adelaide and other parts of South Australia, and increased quickly in membership but ran into difficult times. Tenison-Woods had become director of Catholic schools and conflicted with some of the others over educational matters. One priest who had influence over the bishop declared publicly he would ruin the director through the Sisterhood. The result of this was that Mary was excommunicated by Bishop Sheil on 22 September 1871; most of the schools were closed and the Sisterhood almost disbanded. The excommunication was removed on 21 February 1872 by order of the bishop In 1873 at Rome, Mary accomplished papal approval of the Sisterhood but the Rule of Life laid down by Tenison-Woods and apporved by the bishop on 17 December 1868 was discarded and another drawn up.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CATHOLIC AUSTRALIAN STORY
Mary Mackillop her self had opened a large number of schools for...