Sister Sheila McCreanor
It's the providence of God that 2010 has been an election year, according to Sisters of St Joseph, who say election promises have earned them good funds to carry out Mary MacKillop's costly canonisation events.
The North Shore Times reports that it came as a blessing when both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Opposition pledged $1.5 million to the sisters during the election campaign.
Sister Sheila McCreanor said: "They probably would have still offered us something, but not as much (if the election hadn't been called)."
She said the Sisters of St Joseph would receive the money regardless of whoever wins. And it's already been spent - $700,000 will go the Mary MacKillop Foundation, which funds small, life-changing projects, and $550,000 will cover canonisation expenses at Mary MacKillop Place.
That leaves $250,000 for the sisters to organise a concert in Rome.
While Sister McCreanor, who has been involved in the canonisation process for years, was happy to talk about fundraising inititatives, she would not reveal the cost of the Rome trip.
"We are still finalising figures and don't want to release a dollar amount," Sister McCreanor said. "If someone is travelling you don't ask them how much it will cost. We will be doing this on a budget and as simply as we can, staying in three-star accommodation and travelling economy."
"There are enormous costs in keeping Mary MacKillop Place standing. "We have also set up a company, Mary MacKillop Canonisation, so everything is quite transparent and open to scrutiny."
An election win for MacKillop (North Shore Times)
Image from Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart