Mary McKillop, a genuine hero, deserves a posthumous Order of Australia at least. She was an activist and whistle blower, earning herself excommunication for a time. She was an educator and battler for indigenous rights long before it became fashionable.
To me, smothering her achievements in mythical hocus-pocus draws attention away from her real contribution. She died in 1905 but her work continues, not by magic, but through the efforts of the dedicated women of the order she created and the schools she and her supporters, not all Catholic, established. Now, St Joseph’s schools are a major contributor to Catholic Education throughout Australia. She was a real person in real time who made a real difference, despite interference from her superiors and should be honoured as such by all Australians.
To elevate her to sainthood, our Catholic brethren needed to convince the Pope she had pleaded to God (in an amateur capacity), to extend two women’s lives. Both 'miracles’ happened in the hundred and five years since her death.
But now that she has the badge, there will be no RIP for her. It will be full on listening to prayers, millions of them a day and then sifting through to find, once in fifty years or so, the one or two most worthy. I mean, we can’t be wasting His time with millions of pleas when we know He is so busy.
“All right Mary! All right already! (He is Jewish) Just leave it with me. I’ll have a look at Ethel’s cancer when I get a minute. Look! I’ve got Pat Robertson in my ear demanding I deliver on his latest disaster prediction and poor old Benedict pleading for me to stop making paedophile priests, when he knows it’s been an institution for thousands of years! Sodom wasn’t built in a day you know! “
“And I have to take care of all that while I keep up my smiting quota! It’s all right for you. All you do is listen but I have to do stuff!”
“Mary, do you realise how many saints there are? There are millions and I have to listen to them all!... Look, you can do something for me. See if you can rustle up a few more virgins. Damn suicide bombers!”
“No Mary, there are Muslim saints and Hindu saints, Buddhist saints and, and can you imagine how many saints were created since the Druids? My goodness! And you expect me to jump when you want a favour? Mary, you were a very naughty girl at times, so why should your lot get preference! Now get out of here and come back in fifty years or so.”
We’re told that McKillop’s a saint,
Who listens to every complaint.
But only a dill
Would pray when they’re ill,
And wait fifty years if she ain’t!
Picture borrowed from here was her first school, established 1867. By 1869 her order has attracted 70 new recruits and opened 20 schools. Modern Educators would need more time than that to put together a report! Take the detour and read the facts about this amazing woman.