There’s Something About Mary

December 20, 2009

Our Sunday newspapers today are full of the news of the impending canonisation of Blessed Mother Mary MacKillop (1842-1909); the first Australian saint.

For the last three months I have been a member of a local Vincentian conference, going out each week visiting the disadvantaged, despairing and disenfranchised who dwell, largely invisible and forgotten within this bayside community.  The elderly, the crazy, the disabled and people who have been disposed of; by their employers, their families or their partners.

The work the Vincentians do is where the rubber meets the road: practical real-time assistance from people who are at the coal-face as well.  None of us reside in more affluent suburbs to come swanning down here with good intentions, or to collect Brownie points that will guarantee our entry into Heaven.  There are no guarantees.

I am not a Catholic – heck, I’m not even baptised – so it is passing strange that I find myself in the bosum of Catholicism in one sense. Yet in another, it is not so strange, for where my Mary goes, there go I.

She ain’t got no money
Her clothes are kinda funny
Her hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but Love grows where my Mary goes
And nobody knows like me

She talks kinda lazy
And people say that she’s crazy
And her life’s a mystery
Oh, but Love grows where my Mary goes
And nobody knows like me


There’s something about her hand holding mine
It’s a feeling that’s fine
And I just gotta say
She’s really got a magical spell
And it’s working so well
That I can’t get away


With apologies to Edison Lighthouse.

I do find it amusing that the Vatican thinks that Blessed Mother Mary actually needs their rubber-stamped approval.  Oh well, when in Rome….

The Mary MacKillop Foundation


Guiding Angel - Tiffany Glass, C. 1890





  1. Sounds like you’re doing important work with the Vincentians. Is that what the St. Vincent de Paul Society is called in Australia?

  2. The members of the St Vincent de Paul Society refer to themselves, globally and locally, as the Vincentian Family. Providing direct and practical assistance is very important; to be in a position to make a tangible difference in the life of another through simply showing up, is a rare privilege.

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