Mary MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne on January the 15th 1842. She was the first child to Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald. Mary was one child out of 8 and spent most of her childhood years looking after and acting like a second mother to her siblings. The MacKillop family were quite poor so at the young age of 14, Mary got herself a job as a governess and as teacher at a Portland school. All the money Mary earned went towards her families everyday living. While working as a governess, Mary met Father Julian Tension Woods. By the time Mary had reached the age of 15 she had decided that she wanted to be a nun. She also wanted to devote her life to the poor and less fortunate. So upon meeting Father Julian Tension Woods she told him her hopes and dreams, and together they decided to set up a school. In 1861, they worked together and opened Australia's first free Catholic school. At the time only the rich could afford schooling. But at the school Mary opened anyone was welcome. Mary was a great teacher and became very popular within the community. Although Mary was very pleased with her work she still felt a religious calling. So Mary and Father Woods started their own order, 'The Sisters of St. Joseph.' In 1867 Mary then moved to Adelaide where she opened another school. Before long there were 17 schools open across Australia. Mary's followers grew and by 1909 she had followers all over Australia. Mary later died on the 8th of August 1909. From quite a young age, when many people do not know what they are doing with their lives, Mary had already decided that she wanted to be a nun and help people as much as she could, she wanted to help the poor and less fortunate than her. Mary worked with people and children and expected nothing in return from anyone. When Mary first met Father Julian Tension Woods and they decided to set up a school, she believed that is was the path god had intended her to take and she recognized Father Woods as a messenger...
Bibliography: Mary MacKillop Makers and Shakers, Rose Inserra, Cardigan Street Publisher, Carlton Australia, 1995
Mary MacKillop A tribute, Honeysett Press, N.S.W Leichhardt Australia, 1995
Mary MacKillop Faithful in the dark, Sealy, Pat, Evelyn Pickering Teresita, Cormack N.S.W Sydney, 1983
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