Notre Dame's support of the Canonisation of Australia's first Saint acknowledged.

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 18-3-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Reminiscing about the international and local celebrations for Australia’s first Saint was at the heart of a recent visit to The University of Notre Dame Australia by Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Sr Anne Derwin, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, and her Deputy, Sr Eileen Lenihan along with Western Australian based Sr Katheleen Dawe and Sr Leonie Mayne attended a special gathering to thank the University for its support of the Canonisation.

Sr Anne and Sr Eileen were received by Pope Benedict during his appearance at St Peter's Square in Rome for the canonisation of Blessed Mother Mary MacKillop in September 2010.

They had made a commitment to visit the University when they returned to Australia to acknowledge the significant contribution that Notre Dame had made to the celebrations by hosting a Mary McKillop Festival.

The Festival, which was the initiative of 2010 student president Amy Rosario, attracted a crowd of over 5000 people and was supported by 250 staff and student volunteers on the Fremantle Campus.

Sr Eileen acknowledged those who had played an integral role in the success of the Festival.

“It was wonderful that the canonisation brought so many people around Australia together - not just Catholics but many non-Catholics also celebrated this momentous occasion for the Church and for Australia,” she said.

“The Fremantle Campus was an ideal place to celebrate this significant event."

Mrs Rommie Masarei, Executive Director, Admissions and Student Services and a key coordinator of the event, said that the relationship with the Sisters was very important to the University.

“The Sisters of St Joseph’s have supported the University from its early days through to the present. The special relationship which has existed for more than two decades between the organisations remains strong and we are grateful for their ongoing support as valued major donors and as members of the Notre Dame Community.

Media Contact: Michelle Ebbs (+61) 8 9433 0610, Mob (+61) 0408 959 138