Archbishop’s Pilgrimage to Eden for St Mary MacKillop


The spirit of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop was evident at the third pilgrimage held in Eden on Saturday 10 August, in honour of Australia’s first saint.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse led the prayer walk and concelebrated mass with priests from Canberra, Bega, Bateman’s Bay and Pambula/Merimbula.

Over 200 pilgrims travelled from throughout the diocese to attend the celebrations. Despite the blustery winds, the sun shone and the hospitality of the locals warmed the hearts of all in attendance.

During the prayer walk from Aslings Beach to Star of the Sea church, pilgrims walked, prayed and listened to reflections on the life and work of St Mary. She was the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph. Following the death of her mother, Flora MacKillop, when the Lyee-Moon was wrecked off Green Cape on 29 May 1886, Mary promised that whilst there were sisters available, she would ensure they were resident in Eden. This promise has been honoured and the sisters are still present, with Sr Benedetta and Sister Marie living in Eden.

Students from St Mary MacKillop College in Canberra, travelled with teachers Nathan Wood, Kim Maloney and Principal, Mr Michael Lee to participate. The mass was enriched with their magnificent singing and witness to their faith.

Following mass, pilgrims enjoyed a delicious lunch and shared many stories of their faith journey and experiences. Archbishop Christopher called on all those present to continue their devotion to St Mary and her mother Flora, and to ensure this pilgrimage becomes an annual event, honouring Australia’s first saint.

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Pilgrims were also invited to contribute their own Pilgrimage Prayer to be combined together to be made into a Pilgrims Prayer Book.  Contributions are welcome and can be emailed to Anne Maddock  at

Next year our Pilgrimage will be on the Feast Day of St Mary MacKillop, 8thAugust.  It will also be the 10thAnniversary of St Mary MacKillop’s canonization.  Save the date and hope we see you here in Eden.


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