Spreading the word on the ‘little mother’ Eileen O’Connor
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has launched a new website and social media platforms aimed at promoting the pathway to sainthood for the co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor.
Eileen has already taken the critical step towards becoming Australia’s second saint after her cause for canonisation was officially opened in February 2020 with an archdiocesan investigation underway into evidence of her reputation for holiness and a life of heroic virtue.
The new website, www.eileenoconnor.com.au contains detailed information on her
life, prayers through her intercession as well as information on the ongoing legacy left by Eileen covering not only Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor but also the Brown Nurses and Eileen O’Connor College for students with disabilities.
The Centenary Project Leader with Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor Sr Mary Birgan hopes the new website encourages growing numbers of Australians to learn more about Eileen and the order she co-founded in 1913 with Fr Edward McGrath to care for the sick poor in their own homes.
“The new website has come at an important time for us as we prepare to mark the centenary of Eileen’s death in January 2021,” Sr Margaret Mary said.
We are planning a number of events throughout next year not only in Sydney but also in other areas where Our Lady’s Nurses have left their mark, such as Brisbane, Newcastle and Minto. We hope the website and the Facebook and Instagram pages linked to it will help us spread the word about these important events and just generally raise greater awareness about what a special person Eileen was that really makes her ‘a saint-in-waiting’.
“She’s going to be a saint for our land, I believe.” – Archbishop Fisher OP
Eileen died at the young age of 28 after spending most of her life confined to a wheelchair due to a debilitating condition known as tuberculosis osteomyelitis.
In a video on the new website, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP pays tribute to Eileen, especially her great courage in the face of tremendous difficulty throughout her young life and despite these trials, her selfless devotion to serving those in greatest need.
“She’s going to be a saint for our land, I believe,” he said. “I don’t know how long it will take God in God’s good time to show His signs that He favours that. But I think she is such an inspiration and if the Church in her wisdom eventually raises her to the altar of saints, that will be great for our country,” the archbishop said.
“The promotion of her cause is giving her a new voice and inviting us all to look more closely at what Eileen did and what she represented. When we’re suffering physical or psychological pain, the temptation can be to roll up in a ball just to protect ourselves. But her response was to get out there and help others.”
Bishop Anthony Randazzo said he was encouraged to see growing numbers of Australians wanting to know more about Eileen O’Connor’s life and legacy.
“And through coming to know her, they’ll come to know Jesus Christ more personally in their own lives and in the life of the community of the Church since Jesus was always at the heart of her Eileen’s work,” Bishop Randazzo said.