St Mary’s Altar was recently featured in the Catholic Leader, read the excerpt below or visit our project portfolio page.
CAPUCHIN Friars like South Brisbane parish priest Fr Lam Vu are known for their strict vow of poverty, so paying off parish debts would seem impossible.
That was not the case for Fr Vu, who last week joined Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge for a rare ritual in St Mary’s church, South Brisbane, the consecration of the church and altar.
“Churches are only consecrated once the community has paid it off,” Fr Vu said.
For the past year, Fr Vu has rallied the surrounding South Brisbane community to fund church restorations, which included more than $100,000 in floor upgrades.
“I paid around $230,000, mainly through donations,” he said.
With restorations now complete, Fr Vu drew the community together to consecrate, or dedicate, St Mary’s church, South Brisbane.
The ancient rite dates back to Biblical times, and is canonically different to a blessing of a sacred space.
Churches can be consecrated at the same time as an altar, and chrism oil is poured over a newly installed altar after which it is incensed.
Consecrations or dedications are reserved for the local bishop, and can be concelebrated by the pastor, and involves lighting 12 candles, symbolising the tribes of Jerusalem.