New Addition to the Church - Holy Oils Cabinet
We now have a new Holy Oils Cabinet called an Ambry. Within this is placed the 3 Holy Oils blessed each year by Bishop Anthony in Holy Week at our Cathedral. The Oil Containers are marked as follows:
CAT (Catechumens): This is the Oil used in Baptism to strengthen those baptised on their Christian journey through life.
CHI (Chrism): This perfumed Oil is used in the Ordination of a priest and in Confirmation and in Baptism.
INF (Infirmorum): This is the Oil of the Sick used in Anointing the Sick to ask God’s strength for them in time of illness and to forgive their sins.
We sincerely thank our generous donors who made the purchase of these beautiful Church pieces possible.
The Design of the Sanctuary and Altar
The Altar is the focal point in every Catholic Church. Instructions were given to the architects that their design must use every device to draw the worshipper to the Altar. This they have achieved by allowing the sculpted white Gosford sandstone of the Altar to be displayed in its simple lines. The radiating beams of the ceiling, the graceful curve of the apse, and the fins of silver ash make the Altar the centre of attention.
The Jewish people had an expression, “SHEKINAH”, as a phrase that told them of God’s abiding Presence. The Presence of God is symbolised by the Baldachino, the canopy over the Altar. The woven design represents the Crown of Thorns and the Nails of the Crucifixion. They remind us that our Redemption was brought with suffering. This, too, is the purpose of the carved wooden Crucifix, the work of Heinrich Woolf, of Forestville. The words in bronze lettering on the Baldachino are Christ’s words spoken at the Last Supper: ‘THIS IS MY BODY, GIVEN FOR YOU” Lk 22:19. An Altar and all the things about it are for the offering of Mass which is a re-offering of the Sacrifice of Calvary.
The Saw-Tooth Walls
As you enter the church you will not be conscious of any windows on the southern side. It is only when you are half-way down the building and turn that you will see the light streaming from the windows of the saw tooth wall. Light that comes from behind is free of glare, it floods the Altar, it is restful and devotional.
Beton Glass Window
Your best position for seeing this window is from near the sanctuary as you look back. It is seen in all the fullness of its colours in the early morning light, or as the evening light is fading.
In the ages when the printed word was rare, people were taught by the images and pictures of the churches. Glass was used in all the great churches of Europe.
Much of the fine work of craftsmen in this medium has survived. The glory of Chartres Cathedral shows the work of eleventh and twelfth century artists in an art that was thought to be lost.
Modern glassworkers have techniques that rival men of other days. Since the early 1930’s they have tried to make their glass become part of the structure. This they have been able to do by using abstract designs setting thick slabs of glass in concrete and achieving such a variety of glowing colours that the result is gem-like in appearance.
This glass is called Beton (from the French for ‘concrete’, or some call it, chunk or Loire glass). It is a medium that does not lend itself to figurative designs, but is suited to grand designs that show the glow of the beautiful Belgian glass which in our window is the material chosen to bring God’s colours into His church.
If you seek a meaning is this design, you may say that it is based on Our Lord’s words: “I am the vine; you are its branches”. You see the CHRISTOS symbol that tells you that you must stay part of the vine. “If a man lives on in Me, and I in him, then he will yield abundant fruit”. By His grace gained through His death on the Cross (in top portion of window), we will attain our place in heaven.
Stations of the Cross
The Way of the Cross goes back to the days when pilgrims journeyed to the Holy Land to follow the sorrowful way of Our Lord’s Passion on the steps He took to Calvary. When visits to Palestine were impossible, the devout took to placing scenes of the Passion in the fields. They would lighten the burdens of the day’s work by thinking of the suffering Saviour.
Gradually these scenes found their way into the churches. The practice of thinking prayerfully about the Passion of Christ was blessed by the Church. From this has evolved what Catholics speak of as “making the Stations of the Cross”.
It was felt that the fourteen scenes from the Passion would play an important part in the final design of the church.
Much thought was given to their selection. A young Tasmanian artist, Alan Gleston, was approached and given the commission after he exhibited three paintings in the 1962 Blake Prize for Religious Art. Alan Gelston has been successful because his faith has helped his art. Before he began his work, he read and studied the Gospel story of the Passion, and prayerfully went to work.
He knew that if his art was to be a medium to help the prayer of others, he must paint with a knowledge of his subject.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Two other commissions were given to Alan Gelston: He was asked to prepare sketches for the sand blasted designs on the doors of the Narthex, and the painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour came from his brush. The painting is on hardboard in oils. Alan died in his middle thirties leaving his wife, Carmelita to bravely face the future with her young children. Steven Moor came up with his framework of wrought iron and copper with bronze motifs inspired by honorific titles of Our Lady; The Fleur de lis, the lily of Her purity, the Moon of the Apocalypse, The Morning Star, the Fountain of Life (grace); the anchor and shaped waves symbolise peace and good hope. At the summit is the Crown of Our Lady of Universal Queenship.