Notre Dame celebrates the canonisation of Australia's first Saint

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 18-10-2010

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



As pilgrims flocked to Rome for the canonisation of Australia's first Saint, Mary MacKillop, The University of Notre Dame Australia also celebrated the momentous occasion in an uplifting day of fun, music, laughter and festivities.

Filling the streets of its Fremantle Campus with thousands coming to bear witness to the significant event, Notre Dame came alive with the energy of remembrance and celebration of the remarkable life of Saint MacKillop.

Sparing no detail in the recollection of Blessed Mary's legacy, Notre Dame invited the public to learn and understand her life via interactive stalls, lectures, music and games.

Travelling by ferry down the Swan River to arrive in Fremantle for the official welcome, the Sisters of St Joseph and 'friends' were led down Mouat Street by bagpipers, in honour of Mary MacKillop's Scottish background.

As the afternoon drew closer to the official canonisation, Notre Dame opened its halls and lecture theatres inviting the public to come together and witness the live streaming of the event direct from Rome.

In her official welcome, Notre Dame's Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, said the University was indebted to the pioneering work of Mary MacKillop, who, alongside other religious orders, established the foundation of Catholic education in Australia.

"Today we celebrate Mother Mary MacKillop not simply for what she did but for how she did it," said Professor Hammond.

"We celebrate and marvel at the example she set, her tenacity, her courage, her wisdom and her strength. But above all, we celebrate and take joy in the witness she gave to God.

"Mother Mary was an ordinary woman made extraordinary by her love and faith in God. Let us all learn and take inspiration from this very special and blessed woman."

Notre Dame's Mary MacKillop Festival attracted a crowd of over 5000 people and was supported by 250 staff and student volunteers.

Media Contact:

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