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Nerang unveils new statue of patron saint

Blessing: Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Oudeman blessing the statue.

Blessing: Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Oudeman blessing the statue.

By Isaac Murphy

ST Brigid’s parish, Nerang, has unveiled a new statue to honour its parish patron.

The initiative was arranged by parish priest Fr Rafal Rucinski, who’s been with the community for four years.

The idea was formulated when church-goers mingled after Mass on February 1, a day set aside to honour the saint.

It was through talking to members of his parish, Fr Rucinski realised there was a lack of emphasis in acknowledging the patron.

Fr Rucinski got in contact with Fr Mark Ciesin, who is a friend and artist from his homeland, Poland, to ask if he could sculpt a statue depicting St Brigid.

“It is important that people have something visual to honour and remember our beginnings,” Fr Rucinski said.

Fr Ciesen produced a work of art, as he carved the statue from linden wood, and then coated it with polychromy and gold polish.

“The work is a fitting depiction of our patron, St Brigid,” Fr Rucinski said.

On the day of the unveiling, a crowd of parish members were joined by Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Oudeman, who blessed the statue.

Fr Rucinski said he hoped the statue could act as a reminder to the community to appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments of St Brigid.

It’s hoped Catholics can draw contemporary meaning from the teachings of St Brigid, to care for those less fortunate, a social battle still being waged today.

Commemorative statue: The depiction of St Brigid watching over the church.

Commemorative statue: The depiction of St Brigid watching over the church.

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