.- Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell has blessed a “SuperCat” harbor ferry named for Blessed Mary MacKillop in one of the first events to celebrate her impending canonization.
At the late December ceremony at Circular Quay were the Premier of New South Wales Kristina Keneally and members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, including Congregational Leader Sr. Anne Derwin, the Archdiocese of Sydney reports.
Bl. Mary MacKillop founded the Sisters of St. Joseph and was dedicated to religious education in the Australian outback. After her canonization, which is believed to be likely in Fall 2010, she will be Australia’s first canonized saint.
At the ceremony, Cardinal Pell sprinkled the ferry with holy water.
"Bless this ferry named after Blessed Mary MacKillop, bless those who will use it for work and pleasure," the cardinal said. "The Lord calmed the seas of Galilee and brought his disciples to safety and we commend those who use this ferry to his care.”
The blessed ferry has been part of Sydney Ferries’ fleet since 2000. Keneally said a special ceremony to bless the vessel was a way to commemorate and celebrate Mary MacKillop’s life.
"Mary MacKillop was a pioneer of aged care as well as caring for single mothers and worked tirelessly to improve access to education for rural communities across the country,” she continued.
The premier added she was looking forward to returning to Circular Quay to rename the ferry the St. Mary MacKillop. She promised her government would work closely with the Church and the community on future celebrations of MacKillop’s canonization in Sydney and throughout New South Wales over the next 12 months.