The tiny South Australian town of Penola will celebrate the first anniversary of Mary MacKillop’s canonisation on Sunday (16 Oct).
Up to 150 people are expected to attend the event compared with October 17 last year when five thousand people – and media from all over the world – descended on the South East hamlet.
The anniversary will be marked with a blessing at the soon-to-be-developed stable and school site where Mary MacKillop began her work and where – on Sunday – Adelaide designer Peter Templeton’s plans for the first stage of the project will be unveiled. This will be followed by a Mass in St Joseph’s Church and the opening of a canonisation display at the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre.
The past month has seen much excitement in Penola with a team of Flinders University archaeologists conducting a dig at the stable and school site where they found a number of ‘domestic’ items, including buttons and coins dating back 150 years.
A committee comprising representatives of the Sisters of St Joseph, the Wattle Range Council, the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Adelaide Archdiocese and Limestone Coast Tourism is overseeing the staged development of the site.
Sr Marion Gambin, provincial leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, said the Peter Templeton designs represented only the first stage of an innovative plan to develop the stable and school site as a significant place of reflection and prayer, as well as a premier tourist destination. However a lot more money was required if all the concept plans were to be translated into reality.
South Australian Tourism Commission General Manager, Destination Development, Nick Jones, said the SATC was pleased to support the project and had provided some seed money.
“Mary MacKillop’s story is of great appeal to people of all walks of life. If the site is properly developed, the project has the potential to become a significant tourism asset for South Australia,” he said.
PROGRAMME FOR SUNDAY 16 OCTOBER 2011
First Anniversary of Canonisation of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop
9.15 am Meet at stable site
Release of development plans (stage 1)
Archbishop Emeritus Leonard Faulkner – Blessing of the site
10.10 am Walk in procession to Church (10 minutes)
Some will drive.
10.30 am Mass in St Joseph’s Church
Main Celebrant: Vicar-General Father Philip Marshall,
with Archbishop Emeritus Leonard Faulkner, Father Paul Gardiner SJ
11.30 am Meet at Interpretive Centre
Father Paul Gardiner SJ – Opening of canonisation display
Father Paul Gardiner SJ – Blessing of canonisation display
12.30 pm BBQ Lunch
Further information: Jenny Brinkworth 0438 727 677