AUSSIE NUNS TOUT SAINTLY ENTERPRISE

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SYDNEY-If Mother Mary MacKillop becomes a saint, the Sisters of St. Joseph might have marketing to thank for it. But even if Mother MacKillop fails to make the grade, the religious order she founded can take comfort in heavenly sales of merchandise bearing her likeness.

As part of a three-year push, the Sisters of St. Joseph-the order that Mother MacKillop created in 1866-are lobbying for the sister's canonization with Mother Mac-Killop merchandise ranging from halos that glow in the dark, T-shirts with luminous halos, refrigerator magnets, coasters, key chains and glowing necklaces.

The merchandise was sold last month during Pope John Paul II's visit here last month to beatify Mother MacKillop, the first step in becoming a saint. Up to 250,000 potential buyers turned out to see the pope.

The order is dedicated to educating the poor and underprivileged. Profits are going to the Mary MacKillop Foundation to provide support for charitable causes.

The order is also taking care that those offering knock-off merchandise don't have a prayer.

"I'm sure there has been unauthorized merchandise offered during the pope's visit and our lawyers are looking into that," said Sister Margaret McKenna, coordinator for the MacKillop movement.

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