FIFTY years ago on December 22, 1963, Brisbane Archbishop James Duhig blessed a new war memorial Church built on a former Aboriginal midden at Miami on the Gold Coast.
Fifty years later to the day, walking in his predecessor’s footsteps, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge led the parish in a Golden Jubilee Mass.
Members of the Burleigh Heads parish, which has five churches including Calvary War Memorial Church, Miami, gathered to celebrate the milestone.
During the Mass, Archbishop Coleridge blessed the church’s new altar, ambo and crucifix.
The crucifix and altar were created using the same timber to reflect the ancient tradition of recalling how Christ died upon the altar of the Cross, remembered at the altar in the Sacrifice of the Mass.
The faithful also paid respects to the local indigenous community, mindful that the Church was built on a former Aboriginal midden.
Parish priest Fr Ken Howell said he recognised the fact that the original use of the land was a place where the local indigenous nourished their families.
“The sense of nourishment continues on now as a church whereby our families are sustained through Christian worship,” he said.
In this recognition of the indigenous people, the Burleigh Heads parish commissioned a painting by local artist Joyce Summers, which was also blessed during the jubilee celebrations.
“The painting reflects the two uses of the land, with the symbol of the Cross standing on the midden,” Fr Howell said.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.