St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Memorial Wall unveiled

16/02/2011

The Saint Mary MacKillop Memorial Wall at Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery - the place where Australia's first Saint was first laid to rest - has been officially unveiled by NSW Minister for Lands Tony Kelly MP on behalf of the Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria Board.

The wall, which was erected as part of the ongoing commemoration of Mary MacKillop since her Canonisation in 2010, will also serve as a resting place for cremated bodies and a significant site for Catholic and Christian pilgrims locally, nationally and internationally.

Mr Kelly officially unveiled the wall at a ceremony on Tuesday 15 February, before it was blessed by the Bishop of Broken Bay, Most Rev David Walker.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Lane Cove Councillor and Trustee of the Gore Hill Cemetery, Cr Win Gaffney as well as the Mayor of Willoughby, Cr Patrick Reilly.

In his address, Chairman of the Catholic Cemeteries Board Peter Ward emphasised the importance of the restoration of Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery, marked by the launch of the Mary MacKillop wall, which was also contributed to financially by the NSW Government.

"The Mary MacKillop Memorial wall is a fitting memorial to Australia‟s first saint, a sacred and special site for Catholics and its launch is a mark of significance in the history of Mary MacKillop and the history of Sydney," Mr Ward said.

Within the wall, 212 spots are available for the placement of cremated remains (four of which have already been accounted for since the wall‟s launch) where lives can be commemorated in the spirit of Mary MacKillop, whose body was laid to rest at Gore Hill Cemetery from 1909 to 1914.

Visually, the wall is adorned with life-sized, sculpted bronze panels, depicting the life of Mary MacKillop and the interesting circumstances that led to her recent sainthood.

The launch of the Saint Mary MacKillop Memorial Wall is a conservation initiative on the part of Catholic Cemeteries & Crematoria to bring Australian burials into the Millennium. June 2010 saw the launch of Sydney‟s first 'natural burial park' in Kemps Creek in the Catholic Diocese of Parrmatta, offering a more natural way of returning bodies to the earth with biodegradable coffins and preparing the body without the use of chemical preservatives.


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