Penola celebrates Mary MacKillop canonisation one year on


The tiny South Australian town of Penola will celebrate the first anniversary of Mary MacKillop’s canonisation on Sunday 16 October.

Up to 150 people are expected to attend the event compared with Mary’s canonisation on Sunday 17 October last year, when 5,000 - and media from all over the world - descended on the South East hamlet.

The anniversary will be marked with a blessing at the soon-to-be-developed stable and school site where Mary MacKillop began her work. Adelaide designer Peter Templeton’s plans for the first stage of the project will be also be unveiled as part of Sunday’s celebrations.

This will be followed by a Mass in St Joseph’s Church and the opening of a canonisation display at the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre.

Sr Marion Gambin, provincial leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, said the Peter Templeton designs represented the first stage of an innovative plan to develop the stable and school site as a significant place of reflection and prayer, as well as a premier tourist destination.

The past month has seen much excitement in Penola, with a team of Flinders University archaeologists conducting a dig at the stable and school site where they found a number of ‘domestic’ items, including buttons and coins dating back 150 years.

A committee comprising representatives of the Sisters of St Joseph, the Wattle Range Council, the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Adelaide Archdiocese and Limestone Coast Tourism is overseeing the staged development of the site.

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