As the College was coming into its 120 year celebrations in 2017, this statue of Mary Aikenhead, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity, was commissioned by the College Principal, Ms April Honeyman. The statue, located in the Slater outdoor area, commemorates another Mary in our Catholic tradition who has played such an important and significant role in the lives of so many.
Those who had a role in commissioning this statue wanted this Mary to embody all that our students should know about her. She was a woman who advocated for change to improve the life of the poor, whoever they might be. A woman who walked with the oppressed, touched the outcasts, embraced the forgotten and healed the sick. A woman who searched for new and better ways to do God’s work.
Mary Aikenhead was a woman of choice, not chance. While trusting in Divine Providence, she would actively look for ways to make this happen, recognising that she, and we, are the vehicle for God’s Providence in the world. Mary listened for what God was calling her to be and responded in a way that made a huge difference in the world of others. She continues to do so today through the actions of those of us who are inspired by her work, courage, foresight and compassion.
Our Mary Aikenhead leans forward, inviting you in for conversation, to sit a while, either alone or with a friend. She watches out in the direction of where most students will spend their time here at St Columba’s, reminding them of our heritage and her legacy, and how we are challenged to live our lives. Her veil catches water – the symbol that washes us clean and unites us through baptism – our baptism to the love of God.