Mary's big day goes on screen
FATHER John Hogan was among the members of Rockhampton’s Catholic faithful who last night watched Mary MacKillop’s canonisation through technology more accustomed to a sports stadium than a 110-year-old cathedral.
The canonisation was broadcast directly from Rome to Rockhampton onto a 584cm screen set up at the front of St Joseph’s Cathedral.
The first telecast inside the cathedral made for a unique atmosphere.
Earlier in the day more than 1200 people filled the cathedral for a special Mary MacKillop Mass – one of a number of services across the region honouring Australia’s first saint.
As he helped set up for last night’s screening, Father Hogan spoke about the lift the canonisation had provided across Central Queensland with Mary MacKillop’s story capturing the imagination of the church congregation.
“I think this is recognition of an incredible Australian woman,” Father Hogan said.
“She had such compassion, a love of God that flowed into her relationships with people and absolute trust that never wavered in her faith.”
He said a sense of excitement resounded through the cathedral at the 10am mass, where Bishop of Rockhampton Brian Heenan presided.
Members of the city’s Catholic school community played a central part in the service.
Father Hogan thought last night’s service would also be special.
“I think people will come for the special atmosphere and to be with other people,” he said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to share the moment as part of a group.”
Last night’s screening started at 6pm and was expected to last several hours.
It followed a 5pm mass.
And Mary’s presence will be felt for some time to come in the cathedral with a beautiful bust of the saint sitting proudly near the entrance.
The bust sits on a stand made by the stonemasons who are helping with the cathedral’s current restoration.