GIOVANI Insieme (“young people together”), a young adults’ group on Brisbane’s northside, was the key organiser of the 10am Italian Mass for the August 8 Feast of Blessed Mary MacKillop in St Kevin’s, Geebung.
The group, along with members of the Italian Catholic Federation of Aspley/Geebung, welcomed retired Bishop John Gerry of Brisbane as principal celebrant.
At the beginning of the Mass Bishop Gerry admitted his Italian was “a little scratchy” but went on to preside fluently, many said.
During his homily Bishop Gerry referred to the “remarkable sculpture” of Blessed Mary MacKillop in the chapel beside St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane city.
“The figure evokes her tough pioneering spirit,” he said of the camphor-laurel carved depiction of Australia’s first saint.
“(But) her face tells of her warmth and compassion for those in need.”
Bishop Gerry told those gathered that Mary MacKillop “had a drive to respond to the needs of children” and he was inspired by her holiness especially when criticised by priests and bishops.
“I marvel at her serenity, sweet charity … and belief in the good motives of people who treated her unfairly,” Bishop Gerry said.
Relaying parts of the saintly letters, Bishop Gerry said Mary MacKillop “knew God loved her”.
He also spoke more personally of his response to her writings.
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