As part of our reflection and preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, we attended the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Sisters of Saint Joseph guided us through the centre and we learnt about the history and life of Mary MacKillop. We then visited the birthplace of Mary MacKillop, where we saw a plaque marking the birth site of the Saint. We spent some time in the garden in prayer. From there we went to the ACU where we saw a beautiful statue of a young Mary MacKillop, and followed a number of plaques of the milestones in her life. After having lunch in the Fitzroy Gardens we set out to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We thank Father Benedict for accompanying us on our excursion today. We thank him for being our official guide, especially at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We learnt so much about the history of the Cathedral and about all the different chapels in the cathedral. Today was a wonderful and educational experience and assisted us in our spiritual and reflective journey as we prepare for our Confirmation. Below is a slideshow of our journey today.
What did you think of our excursion today?
What did you learn?
What were two things which stood out for you about
St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop?
What do you remember about St. Patrick’s Cathedral?
I know you have just started making a decision about a Saint to choose for your Confirmation. Below is a short video on how the Catholic Church goes about making someone a Saint. I know you will find it very interesting, and it is very easy to follow.
You will also find a definition of a Saint below the video, as well as an extract on Who is a Saint. Ask your parents to read it with you so that you and your family understand what a Saint is.
At the end of the extract, I have included some links to help you choose a Saint, to begin your research
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a Saint as:
holy, canonized or officially recognized by the church as having won by exceptional holiness a high place in heaven and veneration on earth.
member of the company of heaven, canonized person, one of God’s chosen people.
Who is a Saint? extract from This is our Faith. by Michael Francis Pennock. pp224 – 225
Every Christian is called to be a saint, that is, every disciple of Jesus is called to be holy. A saint is a good person. Saints are people who always choose the better of two courses open to them. Saints are christian models of holiness. To believe in christian heroes and to learn from their lives can inspire us to do heroic deeds of service ourselves on our own journey to holiness.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic church will sometimes declare that a person who lived a good life and died a death joined to Jesus is a saint. The process leading to adding a person’s name to the list of saints (a process known as canonization) involves a careful study of that person’s life and a sign from God (usually miracles performed in that person’s name) that this person is truly a saint and worthy of our imitation. When the church honours a saint, the church is praising God who shares his life of holiness with us, his creatures.
Every person in heaven is truly a saint, whether canonized or not. Some of these saints maybe our own deceased friends and relatives. The church honours all these good people on All Saints Day. In some countries, All Saints Day is celebrated as a holy day, a day of truly celebrating the countless number of people who have lived good, holy lives and are now sharing in God’s life and happiness in heaven.