The church in southern NSW that St Mary MacKillop twice visited and where her Sisters attended Mass and used as classrooms has been restored and transformed into a museum hall, to recount the life and work of the saint and her Sisters.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse has announced the museum as an official pilgrim centre of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn with a vision for it to become a national pilgrim centre.
The place holds special significance for the local Catholic community due to its connection to the MacKillop family.
When St Mary’s mother, Flora, was drowned in the wreck of the steamer the Ly-ee-Moon in 1886, her body was taken to Eden and cared for by the women of Eden.
Her body, largely unmarked despite the turbulent waters of Greencape at the northern end of Disaster Bay, was lovingly laid out in a room at the Pier Hotel.
The only item still on her body was a scapular, identifying her as a Catholic. St Mary’s cousin, John, came to Eden to identify the body which was taken to Sydney for burial.
Seventy-one of the 86 passengers and crew on the steamer died in the disaster.
St Mary was appreciative of the care and love shown to her mother by the people of Eden decided to send sisters to establish a school there.