Blogs From the Canonisation
Pipes and celebrations aplenty
16 November, 2010 | Posted By Sian Owen
The celebrations for the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop in Arrowtown - Dunedin Diocese - were a golden weekend of events... with sun... beauty...hospitality.... celebrations .... and more.
The commemorations began on Saturday when pilgrims gathered outside the museum and went together to visit many of the places of interest connected to the early Sisters. Two of the houses that were once convents were visited and people marvelled at how small they were... definitely no space. The tours took groups past the historic miners' cottages, through Burn Bank house, where Mother Mary first stayed, then on to the old jail, where it was likely the sisters ministered.
Returning to Mary MacKillop Cottage the walkers enjoyed a re-enactment of the Victorian school classes as taught by the sisters. Organiser Margaret Hyland dressed in a nun's habit to tell the audience of more than 100 about Mother Mary diverting from her original destination, of Port Chalmers, to foster the education of 25 Arrowtown children and support faith in the isolated and declining community after the gold rush.
The sisters put 15 costumed pupils from St Joseph's School through the Lord's Prayer, a pop quiz of the story she narrated, handwriting lessons and "physical drill".
This was followed by a social afternoon outside St Patrick's Cottage where the guests of honour were the Sisters of St Joseph distinguished by their blue-scarves. Several people present had attended the canonisation in the Vatican on October 17 and special guests included former pupils taught by the sisters in the early 20th century.
The sisters gathered on Saturday evening at the local Dominican home to talk and share stories.
Almost 100 parishioners, guests, descendants, supporters and clergy from Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist faiths gathered outside St Patrick's on Sunday at 10.30am. An associate member of the Sisters of St Joseph, Kevin Burdon, of Lake Hayes Estate, held a textile banner depicting Mother Mary and the sisters being greeted by Fr Keenan. The tapestry was inscribed with her words of 1887: "Remember we are but travellers here."
Mr Burdon and the Queenstown and Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band, in honour of St Mary's Scottish heritage, led a procession from St Patrick's to the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall. The thanksgiving Mass was attended by more than 200 people. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Dunedin, the Most Rev Colin Campbell, presided. On conlusion of Mass people returned to the hall for a wonderful Diocesen gathering including a sumptuous luncheon.