Archbishop Inaugurates Catholic Church – Golden Plains Times
The dedication of St Mary MacKillop’s Church in Bannockburn took place last Sunday evening.
It was the first-ever church consecration to be held in St Joseph’s Catholic Parish in Meredith, with hundreds of community members attending the service, representing a commitment to always use the space to honor God. .
The liturgy, which included the anointing of the altar and the walls, the incensing of the church with the “incense of Christ”, the dressing of the altar, the lighting of candles and the giving of gifts, was led by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli.
He said the celebration was “solemn in a joyful way”.
“The day has finally come…to dedicate not only the altar, but the whole church, together with the people of God in this church and the parish at large.” he said.
“The moment of consecration could very well be like this moment for the Israelites returning home.
“May this place be a sanctuary, a sacred refuge, a home and a home to you, the body of Christ… It looks like you are already past it, which is beautiful to see.”
St Mary MacKillop’s Church has been operating on the High Street for around two and a half years, named after Australia’s first and only saint, who served the people of the countryside.
The new church was built on the site of the old St John the Evangelist Church which was demolished after a deliberate fire started in 2015.
The parish priest, Father Joseph Panackal, officially presented the building to the archbishop.
“He is rising from the ashes of the tragic loss of our beloved St John the Evangelist Church,” Fr Panackal said.
“This miraculous new church is a sign of the growing life and faith of our community. The beautiful stained glass windows have a theme; we are on a journey, and our journey is Jesus Christ.
“We are proud to present him to you for the devotion and consecration of the glory of the father’s son, and the spirit and patronage of St Mary MacKillop.”
The church key, building plans and books were presented to the Archbishop as signs of his leadership, responsibility in building the kingdom of God and the growing commitment of the religious community.
Architect Sandy Law responded to the mandate to create a light, bright, welcoming, quiet, prayerful, spacious and traditional space when designing the $2.25 million church, and sought to make it a space functional for 220 people.
To cover the cost, the parish received $600,000 in insurance money, their fundraising covered $450,000, bequests provided $700,000, and the remainder was paid after the land in Winchelsea was sold.