Timeline of Mary MacKillop's life 1842 - 1909
- Born in Brunswick St Fitzroy, Melbourne on January 15th, 1842. The eldest of eight children.
- Began work as a clerk in Melbourne.
- Governess to Aunt Mary and Uncle Alexander Cameron’s children at Penola Homestead.She began teaching other children.
- Met Father Julian Tenison Woods
- Appointed as a salaried teacher at Portland (VIC) Catholic Demonstration School.
- Along with Julian Woods she set up St Joseph’s School in a disused stable in Penola; it was Australia’s first free Catholic School.
- Mary became the first sister and Mother Superior of the newly formed Order of the Sisters of StJoseph of the Sacred Heart dedicated to helping children of the poor. (First religious order to be founded in Australia)
- Mary went to Adelaide and opened the first convent in Grote St, Adelaide.
- On 15th August Mary took religious vows to become a nun.
1867 – 1870
- 21 religious schools relating to her order (Josephites) were opened up in Adelaide and country South Australia.
- Mary took final vows on December 8th and left for Brisbane where she established Josephite religious communities of her Order.
- Opposition to Sisters (nuns) grew over the issue of central government and refusal to accept government grants to education.
- Mary returned to Adelaide and established more schools in country South Australia including Burra and Port Augusta, where she became involved in the organisation of her Order. Opposition was rising about Father Woods management of the Josephite schools in his diocese.
- Writing about her concerns led to her being excommunicated on a charge of inciting the sisters into disobedience.
- Excommunication order lifted in a Morphett Vale Church.
- Mary journeyed to Rome to get support for Father Woods and approval for her Order and its work.
- Mary journeyed in Europe. She went on a pilgrimage to a sacred site in France (Paray-le-Monial), visited her ancestors in Scotland and schools in England, Germany and France and looked for candidates to be nuns (postulants) in Australia.
- Mary returned from Rome and brought approval for her Order called the first General Council of the Congregation and became its first Superior General of the Josephites.
- Mary journeyed to Queensland and clashed with Bishop James Quinn over the Governance of the Church and the role of nuns teaching in Church schools.
- The same problems arose in Bathurst NSW where Bishop Matthew Quinn (brother) was in charge. Mary journeyed there to try to solve the problems.
- Mary returned to Adelaide where she was investigated by Bishop Reynolds over debts in an Institute she had founded and the use of alcohol to solve a medical condition. She was dismissed from the office of Superior General of the Josephites and went to Sydney. Here, she was wellreceived and her work was praised.
1883 – 1886
- Mary lived in New Zealand where she founded the Order of the Josephites.
- Mary returned to South Australia and visited country schools throughout the state before journeying to New Zealand a second time.
- Mary was elected unopposed as Mother Superior-General of the Josephites.
- Mary was re-elected Mother Superior General.
1898 – 1909
- Mary’s health deteriorated until she died on the 8th August 1909
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