Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne in 1842 and died in Sydney in 1909. She was the eldest of seven children. Her home life was not always happy. At sixteen she went to work to help support her family who lived in poverty.
In 1866, Mary opened the first St Joseph’s school in South Australia. Mary had a strong belief in her calling to minister to the poor and lost in society. She was often criticised for her attempts to bring education and God’s word to those people seen as ‘sinners’ and least important in society. She was faithful, courageous and compassionate.
Mary’s vision quickly spread, with schools opening in all parts of Australia. She founded the Sisters of St Joseph, who work for the poor all around the world.
On the 17th October 2010 Mary MacKillop became Australia’s first Saint.