A deep respect for the founders of the Dominican tradition has inspired the Santa Sabina College community after receiving two “breathtaking” icons to grace its chapel.
The icons, one of St Dominic and one of St Catherine of Siena, both written by renowned iconographer Michael Galovic, are a gift to the students and staff from the College and the Dominican Sisters to mark its 125th anniversary this year.
The icons were blessed and installed in the college chapel during a special ceremony on 29 August, at which the college also received the precious gift of an aged reliquary of first-class relics, bone fragments, of St Dominic, St Catherine and St Thomas Aquinas.
These will be housed in the same nave of the chapel where the icons are installed.
College Principal Dr Maree Herrett told the assembled that all present at the blessing, Dominican sisters, college staff and students, were “spiritual descendants of these images of God”.
Also present was the college’s head of mission and identity Melanie van der Meer, and the prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands Sr Mary-Clare Holland OP.
College captain Kate Coyne said the icons would help inspire the students to follow the examples of Sts Dominic and Catherine.
“They are absolutely breathtaking,” she said.
“I think they’re beautiful works of art and extremely personal to our school particularly with our 125th anniversary this year.
“They are meaningful to everyone in our community – whether they’re ex-students, sisters or current students – because St Dominic and St Catherine of Siena are foundational to all of us.
“They are very important icons who provide all of us with a lot of inspiration because of the qualities and values they possess.
“The red background of the icon of St Catherine is especially poignant – it reminds us of her bravery, her fierce but also very compassionate nature and is very inspirational for us as young women.
“The portrayal of St Dominic with the beautiful Bible reminds us of his scholarship and his enduring nature to learn and to discover.”