Here Comes the Sun

Carmel Bulletin, 18 November 2018

Church from Distance
A view of the side of our church from a distance, with new solar panels on the roof

Recently the parish installed seventy-two solar panels across the priory and church.  Our action is part of a growing trend amongst homeowners and businesses to reduce both energy bill costs and reliance on fossil fuels.

Continue reading “Here Comes the Sun”

We Too Might Have a New Life

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.

Romans 6:3-4

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.

25320897818_a85d3d4b9f_b_dOur 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).

Australia’s First Saint

Carmel Bulletin, 25 February 2018

Mary-MacKillopYou 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.

Making a grand entrance

Carmel Bulletin, 11 February 2018

01 - Before Mass 1One of the tasks we sought to achieve when renewing our church was to improve the entrances into the building.

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.

Baptistery-Grille-for-BooklThe 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.

Getting to Know our Renewed Church

Carmel Bulletin, 24 December 2017

Welcome to our first weekend of Masses since our new altar was dedicated and new parts of our church blessed for use.  To help you become familiar with our renewed church, please take note of the following:

03 - Blessing of Font 1
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv blesses our new baptismal font, 17 December 2017

We bless ourselves with holy water as we enter the church to remind us of our baptism.  We encourage you to bless yourself directly from the baptismal font in the centre of the church.

The front pew in each section of the church is kneeler-free, which may be of help to those who are unable to kneel, and to those who need easy access in and out of their seat.

Many people use the devotional spaces around the church for their personal prayer.  Please feel free to pray at the shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but only before or after Mass.  Stopping at the shrine after receiving communion causes difficulties and disruption for others.  The seats in front of the shrine are the perfect place to stop and pray after Mass, while keeping walkways clear.  We look forward to the other devotional spaces around the church being completed early in the new year.