Friday, October 22, 2010
AUSTRALIA: 5000 GATHER FOR ST. MACKILLOP CELEBRATION
Cath News report: A fleet of 77 buses yesterday ferried more than 4000 students and teachers from Catholic schools in Hastings, NSW to and from a celebration in Port Macquarie, in honour of Mary MacKillop's canonisation.
Schools from Kempsey, 50km north of Port Macquarie, Wauchope, 20km to the west, and Laurieton in the Camden Haven united with schools from Port Macquarie in the celebration, alongside parents and parishioners, bringing the crowd number at Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium to more than 5000, said Port Macquarie News.
Teacher Kim Post, from Port Macquarie's St Joseph's Primary School, said the event was an historic moment.
"It will be an opportunity for the children to reflect in their adulthood and remember when they gathered to celebrate," Mrs Post said.
"Today will promote and strengthen their Catholic faith."
St Agnes Primary School principal Pat McLoughlin said Mary MacKillop was an outstanding person "irrespective of someone's beliefs".
"Her canonisation will spark a resurgence in people's faith and spirituality," Mr McLoughlin said. "The kids have been really excited about this and have taken it very (seriously) in school."
The Lochinvar Josephites, part of the holy order established by Mary MacKillop, established the first Catholic school in Port Macquarie 97 years ago.