Ricky was one of the group leaders for WYD pilgrims from Kansas City. Accompanying him was his 23 year old daughter, Jessica. This is his story:
I had first noticed the link for Blessed Mary MacKillop on the WYD web site in October, 2007. I read about her and decided to ask her intercession for me and my group throughout WYD in Sydney. I visited Sydney with other group leaders from America in January, 2008. While in Sydney I came to Mary MacKillop Chapel and prayed at her tomb. After visiting the Chapel I began praying for a cure of the Parkinson’s Disease that I had suffered from for nine years. As the pilgrimage drew closer I prayed these prayers more frequently.
Jessica and I attended the Stations of the Cross on Friday 18th July. Following these I had arranged for eight of our pilgrim group to attend an evening prayer vigil at Mary MacKillop Place. The prayer service commenced in the Tenison Woods room, which had been the Chapel that Mary MacKillop had built. Water was drawn from the well beneath this chapel and as we processed past it we blessed ourselves with it. From there we moved outside and listened to words of Mary, interspersed with time for reflection. I had been chosen to read the following: ‘The cross appears lighter when carried with Jesus’. We then processed to the Mary MacKillop Chapel for the conclusion of the prayer vigil.
Before I left the Chapel I went to pray at Mary’s tomb. I knelt there with both hands on the tomb and prayed, asking Mary’s intercession, that my Parkinson’s would be cured but only if it was the will of God. As I stood, my tremor seemed to have gone. We proceeded out of the chapel, speaking to some of the Sisters as we left . Again as I left the Chapel I prayed to be free of the Parkinson’s. It was on the train when we were going back to where we were staying that I noticed the tremor was truly gone.
I watched this through the night and during our walk to Randwick for the closing Mass. During this time I had not spoken to anyone about what I was experiencing. I was waiting for someone else to notice and then talk.
Finally, during the Mass, I gave my hand to Jessica to hold. We did this for approximately five minutes. As we stood and let go of our hands we both looked toward the altar. Within a few seconds she turned to me and said, “Dad, you hand wasn’t shaking the whole time”. I then told her I knew and said that it hadn’t shaken since we left the gate of Mary MacKillop’s Chapel. Another lady from our group also commented about my tremor being gone.
The following Monday Ricky returned, with great excitement and gratitude, to tell the Sisters what had happened for him. He wrote a short account and said that prior to his cure he would have been unable to write at such length. Since his return home he has been instrumental in making Mary MacKillop known within his parish.
David Keohan's Story
David was bashed and left for dead in a street in Coogee. He was in a coma for eight months. His parents came from Ireland and visited the tomb of Blessed Mary MacKillop.
They and many friends prayed constantly through the intercession of Mary. Doctors had advised them that there was no hope for their son. In March this year, David awoke from the coma and is now making good progress in Ireland. His parents attribute his return to consciousness and better health to the intercession of Mary MacKillop.
This cure will be documented but probably will not be required for canonisation. Whether it would meet all the roman criteria or not, his family refer to it as their “miracle”. There are numerous other cures and favours around the world attributed to Mary MacKillop and many of them are remarkable.