The Illawarra Choral Society is sending out a Call to Peace with a new and truly moving concert at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Saturday 27 May 2023, 2pm.
“The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” was commissioned by the Royal Armouries at the end of last century to mark the transition from one millennium to another. It reflects on the passing of ‘the most war-torn and destructive century in human history’.
The composer, Karl Jenkins, dedicated this piece to the victims of the Kosovo crisis. It is a powerful and poignant reminder of the cost of war and the importance of peace.
The Mass for Peace was specifically chosen by Dr Carlos Alvarado, ICS Musical Director and Parishioner of our Lumen Christi Parish, to bring us all together and to look forward with hope to a more peaceful future in our world. Dr Alvarado spent many years in Russia at the Tchaikovsky Institute, married a Russian violinist and has a Russian son married to a Ukrainian woman. So this music has tremendous significance for him due to his Russian and Ukrainian connections and the recent conflict.
“The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” is essentially an anti-war musical composition and is based on the Catholic Mass which Jenkins combines with other sources.
What makes the work distinctive are the lyrics drawn from many parts of the world and from diverse religions and cultures. The music too is cosmopolitan in its inspiration. We hope you will find inspiration and hope in this performance.
The Mass for Peace calls us all to consider the fundamental importance of building good will across our various cultural and religious backgrounds.
Please invite your family and friends, especially those of different faith and cultural perspectives, to listen and celebrate with us this truly beautiful gesture of musical welcome.
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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.