Live Webcast of MacKillop Canonisation to be Streamed Worldwide

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Oct 2010

Speaking from Rome, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell talks about the ground-breaking live webcast of Australia's first saint and the important role played by Telstra, whose generosity has made this possible.

"Through the generosity of Telstra we will be able to send out through the world, a webcast of the actual canonisation ceremony in Rome of Mary MacKillop as it happens," he said.

"The canonisation of Blessed Mother Mary MacKillop is important for us, as Australians and I think it's also important for us as the Catholic Church because Saints, people who are conspicuous by their faith and by their service of other people, are not just individuals from other ages and from other civilisations, but models who can inspire us, and remind us that it is possible to live good, faith-filled lives based on love and hope, the Cardinal said.

The live webcast of the canonisation will include English commentary by Josephite Sister Giovanni Farquer and 2008's World Youth Day broadcaster, Father Mark Podesta and will be interactive allowing live chat, twitter feeds as well as offering a live question and answer function.

Father Mark Podesta

The live webcast will be available worldwide through the social networking site, and the website of the Sydney Archdiocese. Though the Xt3 portal, a feed will also be available at the Mary MacKillop website.

In addition, the webcast can be viewed live on huge outdoor screens erected for the occasion in the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral and at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney.

Work on bringing Australians and pilgrims a live webcast of Mary MacKillop's canonisaltion by Pope Benedict XVI began early this year and meant months of preparation and negotiations by the and the Archdiocese of Sydney. The team linked up with their service provider Viocorp with whom they had worked on various projects, including live streaming of the Palm Sunday handover of the World Youth Day Cross in Rome last year.

It was this and the successful WYD08 experience that led Telstra to come on board and be part of this groundbreaking webcast.

"We are delighted to be part of the Mary MacKillop canonisation as it is a significant event around the world," Telstra's CEO, David Thodey says and insists "it means more than business and is a delight for us to share in this experience."

The historic webcast will begin at 5.00 pm (ADST) on Sunday 17 October with live coverage of the special Mass at St Mary's Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Julian Porteous, the Archdiocesan Episcopal Vicar for Renewal and Evangelisation. Then at 6.15 pm (ADST) the webcast will cross live to Rome and after a 15 minute introduction during by the two Australian commentators during the lead up to the Papal Canonisation Mass which begins at 6.30 pm (ADST).

Cardinal Pell together with Father Paul Gardiner who was Postulator for the Cause of Mary MacKillop for 25 years, will concelebrate the Canonisation Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

Expressing his pleasure the Archdiocese website and would be able to bring the ceremony in Rome live via the internet to any and everyone around the world.

"I am very much looking forward to the ceremony but I am also extremely pleased those who cannot be in Rome will still  be able to watch the events as they happen via the webcast," he said.

For those at home the direct link to the webcast is For Tweeters using Twitter use the hash tag and then type in marymackillop: #marymackillop