SPRINGFIELD’S new Our Lady of the Southern Cross church was opened during a joyous dedication attended by more than 700 people on September 1.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge presided, in a church filled with members of a rapidly-growing parish community, that features more than 25 nationalities.
“It was very exciting. People are just very happy to have a place they can call home,” parish priest Fr Mauro Conte said.
Fr Conte’s own family – his mother, brother and sister – flew from Italy to join parishioners celebrate.
Fr Conte praised the spirit of his Springfield community.
Since 2011, parishioners have worshipped in a hall at St Augustine’s College, with a packed Sunday-morning congregation of 500 people.
Now they have a richly designed church – an artistic showpiece, full of religious symbols.
“It was amazing to see, after seven years in a hall, families coming together in their church,” he said.
Two days after the dedication, Fr Conte said the first Sunday Mass in the new Our Lady of the Southern Cross Church attracted “many new faces”.
“There were a lot of new families,” he said.
“Perhaps they were curious people from other parishes who had heard about the church, just coming to visit, or they could have been people living in the area who, now that there is a church came to us.”
He said Our Lady of the Southern Cross Church represented a new and sacred place for the Springfield community.
One of the iconic features is a series of painted panels of glass depicting nine scenes from the life of Mary.
It is the work of renowned Slovenian Jesuit artist Fr Marko Rupnik, who will travel to Springfield to complete a grand mural wall behind the sanctuary of the new church.
The mural will depict the Wedding of Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine.