You can find our new image of St Mary MacKillop near the entry doors at the back of the church. It is carved by Engelbert Piccolruaz, who was born and learnt woodcarving in the traditional style of the Italian alpine region; the origin of our statue of St Joseph.
The decision on how St Mary would be represented came from a long period of consultation. While at one stage we contemplated adopting the most common representation of St Mary, in the habit of the order that she founded, we saw an opportunity to present an alternative perspective.
St Mary’s love of God, and her desire to serve her God through service to those in need, began at a young age. Her gentle concern, combined with enthusiasm and courage, saw the establishment and flourishing of a new religious order, the education of countless children in over one hundred schools, and the patient resolve to see through the challenges from those who disagreed with her.
In addition to considering how these characteristics could be best expressed, we also learnt about the growing range of representations of St Mary in other places, capturing different periods in her life. The Sisters of St Joseph themselves look to recall and celebrate St Mary’s whole life – young and old, daughter, sister, governess, teacher and religious. We also sought to reflect something of the Josephites today, without the habit of the past, but still with the order’s emblem. The symbol of the cross also features prominently on the book in her hand, as it did in the religious life and spirituality of St Mary of the Cross.
We hope that this statue can be for all people a means of reflecting on the life and example of the patron saint of our nation and diocese. May her life continue to be an inspiration to all of us to follow Christ.