Pope Bendict XVI gave Australian Catholics reason to "celebrate." The pope named Mother Mary Mackillop Austrailia's first saint. In 1866, MacKillop founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart and passed away in 1809. Church leaders are uncertain how to commemorate this occasion. Mother Mary Mackillop, will be better known as St. Mary of the Cross, after "formal canonization" at the Vatican in Rome this fall.
''It reminds us of the possibilities of heroes and heroines who can make a difference,'' Brian Lucas, secretary for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said, ''We often get cynical, and celebrities attract our attention - we don't often see virtue as attractive. That's what is special about Mary MacKillop.''