The Virtue of Justice #2

Mary’s Obedience to Rome

Not only was Mary loyal to Rome’s decisions, she was obedient to their higher authority, either shown through the Bishops or through the decisions of Rome. But she was not afraid to stand up for herself and the Sisters. She wrote to Cardinal Simeoni in Rome on 7th March 1880:

“I am sorry that I have reason to feel that Dr James Quinn is personally hostile in his feelings towards me, and that this has influenced him in his dealings with the Institute. I know that if he says half as much in Rome against me as he did in Brisbane from the Altars and in private, Your Eminence must be disposed to think strangely of us” .

Earlier in 1877 she had written to Dr Grant the Rector of the Scots College in Rome when the affairs in Queensland were coming to a head:

I would have lost courage ere this as far as I am concerned but for the remembrance that I had tried to do what the Propaganda ordered. The Constitutions were not my work but that of holy and charitable men, and they were given to me by an authority I could not, if I would, dispute. I went to Rome to do what I would be told. I gave myself completely and all our concerns to the one loved authority there, and thanks be to God, in spite of many cowardly moments, my heart and will have never strayed from that one centre”.

To the Sisters in Queensland, November 1878.

“…We must look to God and to the Church. In our case the Propaganda speaks for the Church and until the Sacred   Tribunal tells us again that Father Woods is to be our instructor and guide, we cannot look to him as such without being disobedient and thus failing in one of our most solemn obligations…”

In this time of pandemic and lockdowns being thrust upon us without much warning, can we trust in our good God who is still present in our lives.  When we cannot go to work, feed our families, receive the Eucharist, shop when and where we wish, can we like Mary maintain an air of serenity within myself. Can we accept the authority of our Government in their decisions, because they represent the law?


Psalm 110 from Psalms Now  by Leslie Brandt
God spoke to me today, he broke through my childish doubts
With words of comfort and assurance.
“Hang in there; sit tight; stick to My course for your life” he said.
“I will not let you down.”
He reminded me of how He cared for past saints,
How he watched over them and kept them
Through their hours of suffering and uncertainty...
I know that God is with me today -
Just as surely as he was with his saints of old.
I have no reason to fear or doubt the eternal love and presence of my God.


St Mary MacKillop be with us as we struggle in our lives today, with those who need accommodation, employment, security, justice, advice and encouragement. Enable them to remain physically and mentally healthy finding security, as you did, in the love and providence of God, Father of all. Plead with our God to end this pandemic and to bring us safely through it all. We make this prayer through Jesus, our Lord and brother.

Resource used: Virtues of Mary Mackillop—Paul Gardner.