March 31, 2017

Cronulla parish sets Year of Mercy in stone as a gift to future generations

Cronulla parish priest Fr Tom Carroll blesses the new mosaic commissioned for the Year of Mercy. Photo: Patrick J Lee

Cronulla parish priest Fr Tom Carroll blesses the new mosaic commissioned for the Year of Mercy. Photo: Patrick J Lee

More than 250 parishioners gathered last Sunday to witness the blessing of the new entrance mosaic commissioned for the Year of Mercy, at St Aloysius Gonzaga church, Cronulla.

It was the culmination of 80 hours of work by teacher and artist Kate Ng, alongside a dedicated team of four volunteers from the parish: Julie Yacoubian, Mirella Carbone, Cathy Sammut and David Cashmere.

“We enjoyed every minute, every second working together,” said Kate.

Sitting just inside the entrance of the church (in the knave), the glittering 2.5m x 2.5m mosaic began to draw passers-by.

“It was unbelievable the amount of people that would stop and ask what we were doing,” said Cathy, mosaic volunteer and pastoral associate of St Aloysius.

“It was an evangelisation process. People just couldn’t believe we were spending our Saturdays telling the story of Mercy,” she said.

Artist Katie Ng, at far left, with Fr Carroll and the parish team who helped bring the idea to life. Photo: Patrick J Lee

Artist Katie Ng, at far left, with Fr Carroll and the parish team who helped bring the idea to life. Photo: Patrick J Lee

One of the appeals of the Mercy mosaic is its simple and readable design.

There is the white lily representing St Aloysius of Gonzaga, and the outstretched hands depicting his work with the poor.

The pink Kurranulla shells (Cronulla’s eponym) also point to the sacrament of Baptism, and the flowing waters are reminder of the pilgrimage of life.

Fans of the Divine Mercy will recognise the rays of blue and white while the heart (Sacred Heart), dove (Holy Spirit), palm trees (“evergreen”) and sun’s rays (love of the Son of God) create the overall effect of a collage of Mercy.

“I hope that people will stand there and reflect,” said Kate “and I hope it will have an impact on their life.”

When asked if there were plans for another mosaic the parish priest, Fr Thomas Carroll, immediately answered; “My word, yes!”

And there is talk of a children’s mosaic in the opposite wall.

Watch this space.

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