Roy Bridge area of Lochaber is of considerable significance in Mary's
history because Glen Roy and Glen Spean were the original homes of her
forbears. Mary's Mother, Flora, was of the MacDonalds of Cranachan in
Glen Roy, while Alexander, her Father, was from Murlaggan in
neighbouring Glen Spean.
He had set sail for his ' brave new world ' in
1838, two years before Flora. Shortly after Flora's arrival in
Melbourne, the couple met and were soon married. Being from an area that
had a strong Roman Catholic following, Alexander and Flora's ancestral
home had been instrumental in forging in them the Faith and trust in God
that they were to pass on to their daughter Mary.
In 1873, Mary travelled to her parents' homeland and
visited her kinsfolk at Cranachan.
Today, relatives of Mary MacKillop
still inhabit Lochaber and the close ties that the area has with Blessed
Mary are very special to the local people. Blessed Mary's link with
these parts is also very much acknowledged by her Australian followers.
In recognition of this importance, it was hoped that a suitable shrine
could be built.
An anonymous donation
initiated the shrine's design and construction, which was completed by
The picture of Blessed Mary was gifted by the MacDonalds of Nimmitabel,
Australia. On the 26th. October 1997, the shrine was formally dedicated to Blessed
Mary during a Mass concelebrated by Archbishop Keith Patrick O'Brien and
Parish Priest, Monsignor Thomas Wynne.