Earlier this month, the work of our Church Renewal Process was presented at a National Church Architecture Symposium, at the invitation of the National Liturgical Architecture and Art Council.Continue reading “Continuing our Church Renewal”
Carmel Bulletin, 1 April 2018
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
These words from St Paul, proclaimed each year at the Easter Vigil, remind us of the centrality of baptism to our Christian faith. Baptism draws us into the Paschal Mystery – that is, the mystery of Christ’s passover from death to new life.
It is little wonder, therefore, that the rituals of the Easter season draw particular attention to our baptism. We renew the promises of baptism on Easter Sunday. Each Sunday, we are encouraged to put aside the usual Penitential Act and instead participate in the sprinkling of blessed water. Baptism is the primary sacrament by which we are freed from sin, again through sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Our new baptismal font also serves to remind ourselves of the centrality of this sacrament as our entry to the Church (hence why every entrance now leads to the font); a Church that celebrates the Paschal Mystery every Sunday and is brought to the fulfilment of, and sustained in its Christian life through the eucharist to which baptism leads. Blessing ourselves directly from the font as we enter the church helps make this all the more powerful.
While on the topic of the baptismal font, we have received some enquiries about our new font since it was installed. While the bowl can be removed for emptying and cleaning, it is not possible to accidentally tip it over. Keeping the font clean is important, and the water is replaced and the font cleaned with disinfectant on a regular basis. The green patina that has developed on the bronze in places is a natural result of contact between the bronze, water and air. It also happens on similar metals such as copper (think of old copper pipes, or the Statue of Liberty, which also gets its green colour from the natural patina that has developed on the copper over time).
You can find our new image of St Mary MacKillop near the entry doors at the back of the church. It is carved by Engelbert Piccolruaz, who was born and learnt woodcarving in the traditional style of the Italian alpine region; the origin of our statue of St Joseph.
The decision on how St Mary would be represented came from a long period of consultation. While at one stage we contemplated adopting the most common representation of St Mary, in the habit of the order that she founded, we saw an opportunity to present an alternative perspective.
St Mary’s love of God, and her desire to serve her God through service to those in need, began at a young age. Her gentle concern, combined with enthusiasm and courage, saw the establishment and flourishing of a new religious order, the education of countless children in over one hundred schools, and the patient resolve to see through the challenges from those who disagreed with her.
In addition to considering how these characteristics could be best expressed, we also learnt about the growing range of representations of St Mary in other places, capturing different periods in her life. The Sisters of St Joseph themselves look to recall and celebrate St Mary’s whole life – young and old, daughter, sister, governess, teacher and religious. We also sought to reflect something of the Josephites today, without the habit of the past, but still with the order’s emblem. The symbol of the cross also features prominently on the book in her hand, as it did in the religious life and spirituality of St Mary of the Cross.
We hope that this statue can be for all people a means of reflecting on the life and example of the patron saint of our nation and diocese. May her life continue to be an inspiration to all of us to follow Christ.
Carmel Bulletin, 11 February 2018
There were practical reasons for this – the space under the choir gallery was dark compared to the rest of the church, and we knew that glass doors would appear more inviting to those passing by outside. Realigning the doors from the parish centre into the church has improved the flow of movement between the two spaces.
Church doors and entrances also bear the important task of helping us make the transition to prepare our hearts and minds for celebrating together in a house of prayer. We pass back out through them again renewed with the task of taking Christ to the world. Church entrances are also part of a number of liturgical celebrations where entering the church forms a symbolic part of the ritual; some of these include the rites of initiation of adults and children, marriages and funerals.
The design of our new doors not only serves the various liturgical needs and functions, but also honours our past. Our architect, Jesse Mowbray, used the architectural drawing of a grille for the baptistery from the original 1950’s plans as inspiration for our current door design.
We hope that as we continue to celebrate in our renewed church, we can appreciate how our new doors contribute to an enriched life of prayer.