Our Marian Shrine

Carmel Bulletin, 21 July 2019

Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Under this title, the Carmelite family and our parish invoke the patronage and protection of Mary, our mother and sister in faith.

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The Advent Wreath

Carmel Bulletin, 16 December 2018

A short liturgical season such as Advent can be easily lost in Australia amidst the pre-Christmas hype and end-of-year rush to the summer holidays. As such, its symbols, prayers and music can help us to hold on to this time of joyful expectation.

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None Equals Thee

OLMC Statue landscape 2Sometimes people of other faith traditions think that we worship Mary.  While they can clearly see that Mary holds a special place in our faith, all our worship is directed toward God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Collect Prayer for our celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel reminds us of this:

All gracious God,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel, protect us,
and bring us to your holy Mountain, Christ our Lord…

(Carmelite Lectionary)

Mary is certainly the most blessed of all women, and a person without equal.  As our mother and sister in faith, she intercedes for us, and leads us to the divine mystery in which we believe.  This echoes through a number of the prayer texts we use on our feast day today.

While we certainly honour Mary at different times throughout the liturgical year, the liturgy is still focused on giving thanks to God for the Paschal Mystery – the life, death and resurrection of Christ in which Mary played a crucial role.  It is why, for example, that prayers to Mary (such as the Hail Mary) don’t form part of the proper texts for Mass.  It is also why Marian devotions, such as the rosary, or private prayers at the Marian Shrine, have their own time and place.

So as we give thanks for Mary’s patronage and protection, let us remember her first and foremost as a woman with deep faith who embraced the will of God.  Let us pray that by her prayers and example, our faith and love will become like hers.

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.

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.