It is exciting times for Catholics in Wollongong as the finishing touches are currently being put on the renewal of St Francis Xavier Cathedral. Originally scheduled to begin on 1 September 2020 (and completed by 1 December 2020), Bishop Brian Mascord and the vicar general and administrator of parish, Fr Bernard Gordon, brought the project forward when COVID-19 restrictions forced the closure of churches in late March. The cathedral is now expected to reopen its doors by the end of August 2020.
The renewal works include:
New concrete flooring
Tiled sanctuary and narthex
Choir loft levelling and load rating upgrade
New cabinetry for choir loft
New padded kneelers
New LED lighting
Upgraded hearing loop
New sacristy flooring
New window frames (replaced due to corrosion)
Refurbished consecration candles
New digital sound system
Stations of the Cross lowered (to eye level)
New carpet for the body of the church
New internal paint (olive grove green, gold trim & cashmere)
New internet livestream capability
New internet access
New CCTV cameras
Fr Bernard said, “These were much needed repairs, and the bishop, Fr Victor and I are looking forward to welcoming parishioners back in the coming weeks. The physical renewal of the Cathedral is symbolic of our spiritual renewal. When we see beautiful work we feel refreshed and reinvigorated to love God and each other. We appreciate the patience shown by all of our parishioners during this time, and we are eternally grateful for Mr Kevin Dal Santo and his construction team for carrying out the cathedral renewal project with such passion and precision.”
Check out some photos from the renewal project by Lumen Christi parish secretary, Leanne Burlin:
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.