The lives of 10 orphaned refugees from African countries ravaged by war and poverty have become the focus of an event honouring Australia’s first saint.
Inspired by school teacher Aidan Linehan, the first MacKillop Day will be held on November 30 to support Penola House’s 10 Lost Children Fund.
The day is in honour of Mary MacKillop, now known as St Mary of the Cross.
“A cause like this one is so very important because these children will end up in our schools and we need to do all we can to help them,” Mr Linehan, a teacher at All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland said.
“As educators we teach the children about social justice so this is one way of showing them what can be done.
“Besides, it’s a very touching story.”
Members of the Josephite Refugee Support Network Sister Diane Santleben and Sister Betty Brown (from Penola House in Mayfield) have embarked on a challenge to raise money for each of the 10 children to make the pilgrimage to start their new lives in the Hunter.
MacKillop Day will see staff, students and the wider community of the diocesan Catholic Schools Office walk, ride their bike or motorcycle to support the fund.
The event will be held annually to support concerns in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
Through her tireless pursuits, Mary MacKillop became a champion of the poor, vulnerable and underprivileged.
Her enduring motto was: Never see a need without doing something about it.