Sisters head to Rome for canonisation

Tour group

11 of the sisters at Auckland airport before leaving for Rome.

A group of 14 Sisters of Saint Joseph has left Aotearoa New Zealand for Rome to celebrate the canonisation of their foundress, Blessed Mary MacKillop.

Mary MacKillop will be recognised as a saint by the Holy Father in Rome on Sunday 17th October, and will then be known as Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

The Sisters will join an estimated 10,000 pilgrims at the canonisation in Rome, including over 100 Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Three New Zealand bishops will also attend the canonisation.

Doreen and Leah

Mission Bay community members Sr Doreen Hannan (left) and Sr Leah Wright (right) wore pilgrim scarves to see the sisters off at the airport.

On their pilgrimage, the Sisters will be identified by teal scarves made for the occasion. They will also be wearing the scarf for all pilgrims. This incorporates blue and green colours representing New Zealand, to which Mary MacKillop had a strong connection.

Various events will take place around New Zealand over the next two months, including Thanksgiving Celebrations of the canonisation. More information is available at