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Beautifully produced

By: 'Nora Jonkers, The Catholic Weekly' - 25th of May 2009

‘Gathering with Mary’ tells the story of Australia’s devotion to Mary, Help of Christians.


Our Lady Help of Christians was declared the Patroness of Australia in 1844, but Mary was experienced unofficially as ‘Help of Christians’ prior to that time because it was largely the Rosary which helped to keep the faith alive during the early years of settlement in the colony.


The book begins with a brief account of Australian history form the time of Gondwana land, before it moves on to discuss the efforts that were made by early European explorers to locate ‘Terra Australis Incognita’, especially the Portuguese explorer Pedro Ferdinandez de Quiros who named what he thought was the Australian continent ‘Terra Australis del Espiritu Santo’, or The South Land of the Holy Spirit, on the feast of Pentecost in 1606.


Sr Farrell then goes on to describe the early Catholic history of Australia, which involved people such as Fr John Joseph Therry and his visions for St Mary’s Cathedral, before bringing the story up to the present time, especially with regard to celebrations relating to World Youth Day which will bring the spotlight onto Mary as Australia’s patroness.


The book has been beautifully produced and also contains several photographs and a short bibliography.


A copy of this book would be a valuable asset in any Australian Catholic home and its low price makes it affordable to all.


Sr Marie Farrell, RSM, is a senior lecturer of the Sydney College of Divinity and teaches Christian spirituality and Marian Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.


– Nora Jonkers, Review of ‘Gathering with Mary’ by Marie Farrell in ‘The Catholic Weekly’, 25 May 2008.


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