Huh? How’s that?

This from CathNews in Australia:

Twelve-year-old Catholic school student, Brandon Sheehan, who is a descendant of Mary MacKillop, will travel to Rome for her canonization on 17 October, said Catholic Education of the Parramatta Diocese.

Mary MacKillop, virgin and religious founder, will be canonized in Rome on October 17.

I’m reminded of the comment of a monk at a theology faculty meeting here: “In my family, I see more religious commitment among my ancestors than among my descendants.”



  1. +OMG+

    Only if the Pope says it does.

    It’s like creating an Ordinary Form and an Extraordinary Form of a rite. No one ever heard of it before, but the Pope said so . . .

    Like extra mysteries to the Rosary.

    Or making your horse a senator . . .

  2. I’m sure we can create a list a mile long of the unprecedented decisions that Popes have made throughout the history of the church. If the world calls for a dynamic and changing church, I’m sure we have to deal with a certain level of unprecedented papal actions.

    In one sense, progressives scream for change and say the church must change with the times. But once the Pope does something new and inventive, it’s criticized as being completely unheard-of! Which way do you actually want it?

  3. Perhaps I’m missing something here, but the article itself explains:

    “Brandon’s father, Mark Sheehan, carries the link to Mary MacKillop. Mark’s 92-year-old grandmother, Elma Davidson, is the oldest living relative of Mary. Elma’s grandmother was Mary’s cousin.”

    Therefore, Brandon might be called a “descendant” in the sense of the definition, “a blood relative of a later generation.”

    Again, the explanation is so simple, that I fear I am missing something… Maybe the article was updated since this morning, to give the additional info?

  4. Chris:

    The Pope created neither the Ordinary Form nor the Extraordinary Form. Nor did he create the situation in which it wasn’t abrogated. He simply said what was already the case so that there was a definitive decision.

    The extra Mysteries of the Rosary… that’s a horse of a different color… or perhaps a Senator of a different Party?

    1. Hair-splitting, Jeffrey.

      There was no such term as “Extraordinary Form” or “Ordinary Form” before the edict of Benedict the Great (Divider) Summorum Pontificum.

  5. I guess that, technically, there are “collateral descendants” – eg nieces and nephews. But in common parlance, at least where I’m from, “descendant” is generally used to mean “lineal descendants.”

    1. But then again, a personal or particular experience/understanding surely doesn’t constitute the rule, does it?

    2. I agree with Fr. Anthony… descendant implies parental/filial relationships in my book.

      In which case, this story is really quite funny. 🙂

      [And I thought the Virgin Mary had a monopoly on miraculous “descendants”]

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