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The Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel

Mary MacKillop Place ChapelThe heart of Mary MacKillop Place is the Memorial Chapel, which holds the tomb of Mary MacKillop. The Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel at Mount Street, North Sydney, was dedicated by the Most Rev Michael Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney, in 1913.

The Chapel is an imposing building. The main entrance is in Mount Street, North Sydney. Over the porch stands a statue of the Sacred Heart as this devotion is integral to the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Into the facade are set stone traceried windows above which are tall commanding spires of carved stone.

Inside, the Chapel building is divided into nave and aisles by white chiselled stone pillars, from which rise arches supporting the roof. The front panel of the altar contains a carved relief of white marble depicting the Last Supper.

Significant Dates Regarding the Chapel

Tomb of Mary12 January 1913 - The Foundation Stone of the Chapel was blessed.
8 December 1913 - The first Mass was celebrated.
18 January 1914 - The Memorial Chapel was blessed and opened by Archbishop Kelly.
28 January 1914 - Mary's remains were transferred from the Gore Hill Cemetery to the Chapel erected in her memory.
29 January 1914 - Mary MacKillop's remains were re-interred in the tomb at the front of the altar of Mary the Mother of God.
2 December 1970 - Pope Paul VI here addressed Major Superiors of Religious Orders on the subject of Christian Education.
20 December 1993 - Mary's body was placed in the present tomb to the right side of the altar.
19 January 1995 - Pope John Paul prayed at the tomb before the Beatification ceremony at Randwick.

The notion of going on a pilgrimage and being a pilgrim is a very ancient one that belongs to the spiritual tradition of all great faiths. Mary MacKillop Place and in particular the tomb of Mary MacKillop have become a place of pilgrimage.

As Mary MacKillop died on 8th August, the 8th day of each month has become a special day for pilgrims to visit Mary MacKillop Place, participate in the celebration of the Eucharist, visit the Museum, and pray at the Tomb. 8th August is a very special day, and thousands of pilgrims visit Mary MacKillop Place, Masses are celebrated throughout the day in various locations, and there is a range of happenings. The organisation of such an event is challenging, and many volunteers help provide directions and support.

There is a Pastoral Care department at Mary MacKillop Place, so some Sisters are always available to listen to pilgrims and visitors, and provide support when needed. If you would like a prayer request or thanksgiving placed in the Petition Boxes at the foot of Mary’s grave, or if you wish to have a petition included in the Masses being offered in the Chapel, or if you wish to receive material for a novena please contact pastoralcare@sosj.org.au

An Australian Pilgrimage is organised each year In the Footsteps of Blessed Mary MacKillop. This visits many of the sites associated with Mary MacKillop's life and work in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. For information contact info@sosj.org.au

More information: Mary MacKillop Place