Homily for Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

9 August 2017 | General Interest

Below follows a Homily from Archbishop Mark Coleridge featured by the Archdiocese of Brisbane...


I have been reading Shakespeare for years; and when I do, I’m often left wondering where he got all this.

The language has such power and beauty and ease that something seems to pass through Shakespeare. The words seem to come from somewhere else, so transcendent do they seem. I have the same sense with a composer like Mozart: where did he get all this, where did it come from? The music seems to come from somewhere else. The same might be said of Michelangelo, standing beneath the prodigies he has left on the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It all seems to come from somewhere else. You ask not only, How did he do it? but, How did he even think of doing it? Where did it all come from?

Mary MacKillop is not a poet, a composer or a painter: but I have the same sense with her. Something seems to pass through her – to the point where you ask, Where did it all come from? How did Mary happen? The answer we give today and which the Church gave when she was canonised is that it all came from God. The Holy Spirit moved through Mary MacKillop and still does. She may look conventional enough in the portraits, sporting what was the religious habit of the time. But in fact she’s as unconventional as Shakespeare, Mozart or Michelangelo – as wonderfully disruptive and as enduringly creative.