New Neocat chapel

The following excerpt and photograph were taken from a special colour feature produced courtesy of The Record, Western Australia’s Catholic newspaper.

The image is fascinating. The women are, of course, in their rightful place wiping down the altar, with the priests carefully supervising. The women, however, are wearing the pants; and guess who are wearing the pretty frocks?

A spectacular ceremony marked the completion of the new chapel at Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Morley [Western Australia] on June 28.

Archbishop Barry Hickey presided over the dedication and opening with Auxilary Bishop Donald Sproxton and 40 priests who were present for the occasion. Redemptoris Mater is the missionary seminary of the Archdiocese; seminarians follow the Neocatechumenal Way for their own faith formation.

In addition to parish duties, priests and seminarians of the Way work with communities in the parishes of St Mary’s Cathedral, Mirrabooka, Kelmscott, Rockingham, Whitfords and Mosman Park.

The completion of the Chapel is the third completion of a new building since the inauguration of the Seminary in 1994.

[Rector] Fr Moore said the striking beauty of the Chapel and its various features help the seminarians and faithful who celebrate there to participate with zeal.

The clear glass door to the Chapel has been etched by sandblasting with the scene of the Annunciation. Fr Moore said this is because people only come to the Church through hearing an announcement of Jesus Christ or through personal witness.

“The doors and also the windows are full-length glass so that the Church can see the suffering of the people of the world and bring to them the light of the love of Jesus Christ in the Church,” Fr Moore said.

The altar, in the centre of the Chapel is designed like a table, “because it is the table of the Eucharist, where we participate in the banquet of the body and blood of Jesus Christ,” he said.

The lectern is also designed like a table where the word of God is proclaimed.

“This is the same word that the angel proclaimed to Mary Magdalene that Christ is risen from the dead. This is reflected also in the icon at the back,” he said.

“The whole internal architecture of the Chapel,” said Fr Moore “is based on the concept that Vatican II emphasised that the Church is the body of the risen Christ.”

The chair, Fr Moore continued, represents the head, while the lectern is symbolic of the mouth of the body of the risen Christ.

“The altar can be seen as a stomach where we receive the food – the Body and Blood of Christ – while the assembly forms the arms, legs and feet of the risen Christ that help to bring the good news to the world.”

The Church Mouse can’t resist taking this pseudo-theological inanity a step further and ask whether the new chapel has a spire or steeple, what it might represent, and whether or not size matters?
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