Fathers Hien, Peter and Nathan celebrated the Easter Triduum with Parishioners and visitors at Holy Rosary and St Brendan’s. Cathy Healy, a long time friend of Fr. Hien gives her reflection on God through the crafting of the candle at St Brendan’s and the description below:
The candle this year is about love. In a sense it is also my response to all that has been happening in the church. Somehow I think we need to get back to what it is all about and what God is about: LOVE. And when I was thinking about how to portray the love of God for us, I couldn’t find a more perfect way than the cross. (John 3:16 “God so loved the world He gave his only son.”) However I didn’t want to paint a sad cross with a lot of suffering, but a glorious cross, and I thought of the beloved cross of San Damiano from Assisi. St. Francis heard Jesus speak to him while he was praying before this cross: “go, repair my house which as you see, is falling into ruin.” Francis began by rebuilding the run-down chapel of San Damiano, but in time he came to realize that his mission was to repair the whole Church of Jesus.
In designing my own version of this cross I wanted to reflect the church in Australia. There is the dove, for we are the “Great South Land of the Holy Spirit”, and with the hand of the Father above and the Son below the Trinity is formed. The colours of the cross behind, together with the gold, are reminiscent of those in the flag of our indigenous people, and the Southern Cross shines down from the sky. At the foot of the cross is St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop, our patron saint, where on the original icon it is thought the local saints of the Umbrian region of Italy are portrayed.
The cross itself has become the Tree of Life, and the crucified Christ is not dead – He is already Risen. For this reason the figures underneath the cross are joyful, and in them I have tried to portray something of our culturally diverse, contemporary society. They are those shown on the original cross – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and the centurion with his son who was cured. On the other side is St. John with the Virgin Mary. This image of Mary is the “Madonna of Mercy”, and here she gives protection under her cloak to the children standing between her outstretched arms.
“Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love. Where there is injury your pardon Lord, and where there’s doubt true faith in you.”