Mary MacKillop relatives headline on the fly


fifth cousin of Mary MacKillop, Mark Sheehan, with children Kiana and Brandon.
All relative...fifth cousin of Mary MacKillop, Mark Sheehan, with children Kiana and Brandon.
Distant relatives of Mary MacKillop - the Sheehan family from St Marys Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and Primary School - have appeared in The Australian and the Daily Telegraph his morning, making the headlines again just prior to flying out to Rome for the Canonisation of Australia's first Saint.

Twelve-year-old Brandon Sheehan (sixth cousin of Mary MacKillop) was selected to join 45 representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta to make the pilgrimage to Rome. Brandon's link to Blessed Mary comes from his father Mark's side of the family - Mark's 92-year-old grandmother, Elma Davidson, whose grandmother was Mary’s cousin, is the oldest living relative of Mary.

Joining Brandon and Mark for the family celebration of a lifetime in Rome are Mark's wife Sharon, daughter Kiana and sister Kim.

Before flying out last night, Mark told The Australian that the Rome-bound Sheehans were proud to be representing the whole of the family in Australia at the Canonsation.

Mark also told the newspaper that as well as being a distant relative, Mary MacKillop was also a source of strength and inspiration for the family.

"When the going gets tough, we pray to God and to Mary to help us," Mark said. "We always manage to soldier through."

Brandon Sheehan, meanwhile, told this morning's Daily Telegraph that he was honoured to be going to Rome for the Canonisation of the cousin of his great, great, great grandmother.

"What I love about Mary is that she helped people in need, not just the rich," Brandon told the paper.

The Sheehan family also appeared on Ten News on Tuesday night, preparing for their pilgrimage to Rome.

Read the Sheehan family's full story in The Australian


Flying start: pilgrims make headlines on path to Rome

Learn more about the Sheehans' road to Rome

« Return to news list