Mary MacKillop's memory still very much alive

STAGE two of the Mary MacKillop Stable School Park upgrade was blessed and opened on Sunday in Penola.

After the usual Sunday mass, also celebrating the feast days of Saints Peter and Paul, a special ceremony was held to recognise the developments at the park. Sisters of Saint Joseph from all around Australia came to the town, along with students from Penola College in Melbourne and other visitors, for the ceremony.

Mary MacKillop Memorial School students dressed up for the occasion (from left): back row - Sam and Annabel Hayes, Ruby Moore; middle - Joseph and Seb McCarthy, Fergus Moore; front - Grace McCarthy, Holly Flint, Laura Murdoch and Jessie Briggs.

Mary MacKillop Memorial School students dressed up for the occasion (from left): back row - Sam and Annabel Hayes, Ruby Moore; middle - Joseph and Seb McCarthy, Fergus Moore; front - Grace McCarthy, Holly Flint, Laura Murdoch and Jessie Briggs.

Rain threatened to put a dampener on proceedings with the first part of the ritual moved to the Mary MacKillop Memorial School Hall and instead of the pilgrimage to the park people were encouraged to get there as soon as possible.

But aside from that the day went off without any problems.

Sisters of Saint Joseph centre west regional leader Margaret Cleary spoke of the significance of the town to the story of Mary MacKillop - Australia's first Saint.

"This space has so much history," she said.

"It's my pleasure to welcome all vistors to Penola."

Unfortunately the designer of the park, Peter Templeton, could not be present but he passed on his well-wishes for the success of the park which is located on the corner of Bowden and Queen Sts. Four new structures were blessed at the site by Fathers Paul Gardiner OAM and Peter Fountain: the people sculptures, prayer stations, shade sails and acknowledgements sculpture. After the blessing the crowd returned to the school hall for lunch.

Penola Sister Sue McGuiness and Fathers Paul Gardiner and Peter Fountain conduct the blessing at the Stable School Park.

Penola Sister Sue McGuiness and Fathers Paul Gardiner and Peter Fountain conduct the blessing at the Stable School Park.

Mary MacKillop Penola Centre chair Claire Larkin (left) and her husband Brian tour the newly upgraded stable school park with Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph Monica Cavanagh.

Mary MacKillop Penola Centre chair Claire Larkin (left) and her husband Brian tour the newly upgraded stable school park with Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph Monica Cavanagh.

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