Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mary MacKillop, Patron Saint of the Unreasonable

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists"

I knew them as Sister Bede and Sister Terese. They were my Mother's Grandfather's sisters. They were brown Saint Joseph's nuns. Irish Catholic women who joined Mary MacKillop's band of revolutionists who believed the poor should be educated to be freed from their serfdom. I was taught by brown St Joseph's nuns. They didn't look like revolutionists. But they were very confident and outgoing. Lovely women with a strong social consciousness.. Perhaps I was infected with their founder's defiance of institutional authority. When her independence offended the Irish Catholic bigots who served as bishops in the colonies, and they tried to bring her to heel, she did not succumb. She went to Rome and convinced the Pope to break with tradition and free her Order from priestly control. Mary MacKillop, Patron Saint of the Unreasonable. Please give us the strength to be unreasonable when ancient rules block humanity's progress.

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