A BOOK OF GOSPELS

According to ancient tradition in the Church, the Book of Gospels is carried in the entrance procession at Mass, placed on the altar, and then ceremonially taken to the ambo for the proclamation of the Gospel.  The Book of Gospels has always been given special respect and dignity in the Church because it is an icon of the presence of Christ to the liturgical assembly. Continue reading “A BOOK OF GOSPELS”

WILLIAM WARDELL’S LADYE CHAPEL

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria

The nineteenth-century Gothic Revival Cathedral of St Patrick’s, Melbourne, Victoria (1858-1899, 1930s, 1970s, 1990s) is a place for Christian worship.  It is a house of prayer, a dwelling-place of the Lord among God’s people.  St Patrick’s has been part of my life since before I was born.  In 1950, my Swiss-Polish parents, new post-WWII immigrants, were married in the cathedral sacristy by a Polish priest.  The architect of the cathedral, William Wilkinson Wardell (1823-1899), became the topic of my doctoral research in the 1980s; and in the early 2000s my youngest daughter was married in the cathedral.  It was in the 1990s that I began visiting the Ladye Chapel whenever I was in Melbourne.  My younger brother was diagnosed with cancer in his mid-twenties and I found great comfort in simply being present with Mary, mother of us all.

Continue reading “WILLIAM WARDELL’S LADYE CHAPEL”

TOM BASS: in his own words

The Australian sculptor, Thomas Dwyer Bass am, was born in Lithgow in 1916.  After various jobs during the Depression and army service during WWII, he began his career as a sculptor on graduating from the National Art School in 1948.  Prior to the war, Bass attended Dattilo Rubbo’s art school; it was here he was initiated into the principles of art.  At the National Art School he came under the influence of Lyndon Dadswell whose assistant he became during 1949-1950.  This was followed by a three-year stint of teaching there.  From 1951-1964 he held various executive positions with the Sculptors’ Society, of which he was a founding member. Continue reading “TOM BASS: in his own words”

Ernst Fries (1934-2020)

Victorian sculptor Ernst Fries is known for his monumental works in stainless steel and granite, glass and concrete.  He was born in Würzburg, Germany, and after a difficult childhood during World War II, studied gold and silver-smithing in Switzerland.  He came to Australia in 1959.  He settled in the Yarra Valley in 1986 where the landscape inspired him to explore themes of rebirth and new life in the elegant clean lines of his modern sculpture.  With work in gallery collections in Australia and overseas, he has received many commissions for public sculpture, for example, in 2013, the glass and concrete panels of the Yarra Glen Black Saturday Memorial. Continue reading “Ernst Fries (1934-2020)”

Natasha – a personal reflection

Natasha by G.W.Bot (detail)
Natasha (detail) – click for full view

When first saw this piece in the early 90s, I was also exploring the Catholic faith. The imagery of an icon was immediately recognisable and arresting. The simplicity of rendering in apparent monotone and the animation of the child I found appealing. It represented for me a gentle welcome into a faith community that has since become my spiritual home. It also became a vehicle for a line of enquiry into my place in the Church and that of women in general. Continue reading “Natasha – a personal reflection”