Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Gift of Mary MacKillop

Welcome to the first in a series of book reviews designed to encourage you to find out more about the wonderful woman that is Australia’s first Saint.

“The Gift of Mary MacKillop,” by Colleen O’Sullivan RSJ, with illustrations by Lyne Muir is a literary feast that truly befits its title, as it makes a wonderful gift for any admirer of Mary.

Colleen O’Sullivan RSJ captures Mary's life and brings a great love and warmth to her story. In this book something is achieved that the great biographers of Mary cannot in their chronological presentation of the history of Mary’s life, O’Sullivan’s warm prose together with Muir’s beautiful drawings bring us into Mary’s life; we experience her struggles and her triumphs alongside her.

For me, the way O'Sullivan highlights how out of crisis and trial Mary didn't just survive she and her sisters prospered, becoming larger and more engaged with the world than before, makes this book more than a story of Mary; it makes it a living prayer.

I would like to conclude my recommendation of this great book with a passage from it: 'wherever the Sisters of St Joseph go they remain true to Mary's goals by serving God's people and developing the kingdom of God here and now,’ (page 120) as pilgrims of Mary’s on the path to World Youth Day we are challenged by the Josephites to ‘embrace Mary MacKillop and engage the world’ in the spirit they themselves follow.

Check out Mary's Books for information on where you can buy or borrow this book.

"Mary MacKillop Poster" by Sr Mary Brady OP+