Sunday, October 17, 2010

Are you a Josephite?

You would have to be living under a rock in Australia this weekend if you have not heard that Mary MacKillop is to become our first saint today.

And if you were educated at a St Joseph's School you would understand the pride most feel about Mary.

For the small rural community of Bombala, NSW this weekend holds much significance.

The story of St Joseph's Bombala will not be told outside of the community.  Nor will most people around the district understand how much heart this little school has.  It will not be seen as a miracle and indeed, many may scoff at the story.

But a school faced with certain closure, in a seemingly David and Goliath battle, has triumphed.

This weekend, in this small rural community, hearts will quietly swell with pride and gratitude for what Mary MacKillop did and what she has inspired others to do.

Mary MacKillop sent her sisters to Bombala in 1888 and she herself visited on two occassions.

A drop in enrolments over the last few years meant that the school was faced with closure at the end of this year.  A fate not uncommon in rural areas for Catholic Schools in recent years.

Cue:  inspiration from Mary MacKillop, determined parents and dedicated staff.

The result:  a small rural school that is leading the way for the community and families finally enrolling once again.

On Friday the school community went on a pilgrimage for Mary MacKillop - the best gift - it was in the rain.

For this drought stricken district, which has had many setback in recent years, the triumph of St Josephs's is a small beacon of light.

What the school community truly believed was that Mary would never turn her back on one of her schools or the precious children she set out to educate.

In 2010 her cannonisation is more relevant than ever at St Joseph's Bombala and the school community can take pride in knowing that they have been a part of something extraordinary.

1 comment:

  1. I too was educated in a St Joseph's school and feel quiet pride today. Let's hope Mary's mission of educating children in rural areas continues and prospers