Work starts on MacKillop Penola site


Work has begun on a stone wall to enclose what is arguably the most significant site linked to Australia’s first Catholic Saint, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

To commemorate her Canonisation, the Wattle Range Council - together with the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Sisters of St Joseph – is developing “a place of prayer and contemplation” at Mary MacKillop Park in Penola.

The park, which was damaged by last year’s tornado, is the site of the stable where Mary MacKillop began her work in 1866 and where she established the first St Joseph’s School.

Work has started on building a two-metre high Mount Gambier stone wall which will surround a beautiful landscaped area and a memorial structure, the exact nature of which has yet to be finalised.

“We have limited funding, so this project will happen in stages over the next year or two,” said Sister Marion Gambin, provincial leader of the Sisters of St Joseph.

“This is a site for pilgrims and the community - and a wonderful way to be able to share in the humble beginnings of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s journey which began right here in 1866 in a stable,” Sr Marion said.

Project organisers are still awaiting the results of archeological testing to determine the exact stable location and whether there are any remnants of the original stable structure are still present.

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