PC #117 – The Saint and the Miracle Baby

Do you believe in miracles?  Is the story I’m about to tell you a miracle?

I believe it is.

In Australia, our only saint is St. Mary MacKillop.

In the mid to late 1800s, Mary MacKillop established The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart – a congregation of Sisters that worked in the Outback of Australia. Under Mary MacKillop’s supervision, they set up schools, helped the rural poor, established orphanages and homes for the incurably ill, as well as aged care homes. They helped miners and rail workers when they were sick or injured.

The Josephite Sisters, under Mary MacKillop, battled sexual abuse of young children, and when she exposed a parish priest for pedophilia, another priest sought revenge and had her ex-communicated from the church.

That excommunication was later lifted, and in October 2010, Mary MacKillop was made a saint at a huge ceremony at the Vatican. Jennifer and I were were fortunate to be there in Rome to witness her canonisation.

She’s buried in a church in North Sydney, which is where she lived and worked for many years. It’s called The Mary MacKillop’s Place – and it includes a museum dedicated to her and the Josephite Sisters.

Jennifer’s father, a practicing Catholic and a builder by trade, worked on the church and built its doors.

Jennifer has a brother named Matt. He’s married to a beautiful lady, Megan. Megan has multiple sclerosis, and is badly afflicted. Matt and Megan have always wanted a baby, but didn’t think it was possible – not only because of Megan’s illness, but because she’s 42.

They’d been trying though for many years, without success, and had finally decided that the only possible way for them to have a child was through IVF. But they wanted to give it one last try, so they decided to go to the Mary MacKillop Place, to pray for the child they so desperately wanted.

Megan a couple of years earlier had been given a small portion of Mary MacKillop’s burial shroud by a Josephite Sister. She took that tiny piece of shroud with her when they visited the church.

Matt describes beautifully what happened in the church. They both sat and in their own way they prayed, then Megan got up and went over to Mary MacKillop’s tomb. Matt said that he had no desire to see the tomb, he just wanted to sit in the church by himself.

And as he sat there, two things happened – the sun broke through a cloud and a shaft of sunlight came through a nearby window and literally hit him in the face. At the same time, out of the golden shaft of light, a nun appeared and asked him kindly if he was alright.

Matt said he felt a sudden sense of calm come over him, as though a huge weight had been lifted from him, and he said to the nun: “Yes, I think everything is okay. Thank you.”

Six weeks later, Megan discovered she was pregnant. Two weeks ago the baby was born, premature at 5lb 6oz. Her name is Matilda, but we call her the Miracle Baby.

baby #1.crop

36 thoughts on “PC #117 – The Saint and the Miracle Baby

  1. Bill, thankyou for this beautiful story of faith, hope and love. After reading your description, I have no doubt that Matilda is a miracle from St Mary. She is one of many, I am sure. She is also very cute and will no doubt be a source of great joy for the family.

    You have touched on something very dear to my heart.
    I have had a connection to St Mary for over 50 years and continue to walk in her footsteps, in many ways. One of my daily forces is this quote from her “Never see a need without doing anything about it.”
    I can tell you of many personal events related to the works and miracles of St Mary but it would be a very long post.
    Special blessings for Matilda and her family.


    • Dear Anne,

      That’s wonderful that you have such a close connection to St. Mary.

      And yes, the baby is very cute. Dear little thing – so tiny.

      Even though this is a non Camino story, I really felt it was worth posting.



        • Well, this story is very close, but I didn’t realise the Mary MacKillop connection until yesterday, when I overheard a chance conversation between Jen and Matt.

          Amazing, really.



      • Bill, I respect your”mixed faith” approach to life. There is some wisdom in it, I believe. But who then, in your theology, is the author of this miracle?
        Years ago I went to an amazing seminar, and its catch phrase was” expect a miracle.” I learned that If I chose to live with an open spirit -expecting the best of others, the world I live in, and getting out of the way so God could work His wonders, then truly, miracles were all
        around me if I was willing to see them. My eyes were opened to so many wonders, and that’s when I began to make progress in spiritual growth. I know that God is everywhere,and I am a better person because of it


      • Sister –

        Firstly, I don’t have a theology. I’m not even sure what it means.

        Secondly, I would be interested in your definition of God, because I don’t have one.



        • I wish I could remember which post it was, but I’ve already given you my definition of God -remember, the Creator, Universe, Divine Love and Energy within and all around us? When I finish my very tedious work project, I’ll see if I can find it for you -unless a member of my beloved pgs family recalls it. And I’m sure you know what theology is : simply all the components you believe in about whatever faith you embrace.


  2. Lovely story Bill. My sister Marie Casey was the nun who went to Rome to do the pre cannonisation work. She is a St Joseph sister in Sydney. I was in Rome for that too. Small world.


  3. Morning All,

    I just read about the miracle baby and couldn’t not say anything! Wow, that is such a beautiful story and a gorgeous baby. It is a miracle on both counts.

    I had a friend who was desperately trying to get pregnant after having had two children of out wedlock when she was on high school and her first year in college. This was now years later and she had no luck and was finally married. They tried IVF with no luck and were frustrated and out of money. After a few years they just stopped trying. One day her husband was taking a photo of her and just as he was about to snap it the wind kicked up and blew her shirt up. In the photo, she appears to be 9 months pregnant. She found out weeks later that she was indeed pregnant and 7 or so months later delivered a set of twins!!

    Talk about divine intervention and things coming full circle!!

    Have a great day!!



    • Reminds me of a couple I went to church with years ago. She in her 40s and he in his 50s. A after trying to conceive they gave up and adopted an infant. A year later she had twins. God works in mysterious ways.


  4. Dear Uncle Bill, What a precious story and precious photo of your very precious niece. Was there a little of your PGS here, not to take away from God’s miracle or St. Mary’s assistance, but taking part, nonetheless.

    And my 2 cents: we all come to God in different paths, and he is surely big enough to encompass it all. It is only the human mind in each of us that can only understand from our own perspective. I remember taking an Art class in which we were seated in a circle around the still life object our professor set up for us to paint. Every painting was different as we had 360 degrees worth of perspectives together, but only a small portion individually to record on our canvases. But no matter how narrow our view , but the central object still encompassed them all. All were true in our own little vision, but only all together did we have 360 degrees. And even that didn’t cover all of it as our circle was a disc, not a globe. God is all encompassing. There is so much to learn from each others perspective, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and all the rest. If we would just learn to respect and share and approach with a humble, open heart and mind. God has given us such a wonderful world and peopled it with such marvelous, interesting creatures, including people.

    I have friends in each of those faiths I mentioned and in teaching me about their faith, I have learned even more about my own. I have an Indian-American client, A. Mohit, an engineer by profession, who wrote a book called, One God in You and Me. (I guess there’s no punctuation options for these replies.) Anyway, it’s not an easy read, but check it out on Amazon. He was a child in India during the bloody partition of India and Pakistan. The book is not a narrative of that, but I think that experience influenced his perspective.

    Oops, I’m way over my 2 cents.


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