A little piece of Australia was presented to Pope Francis on 14 September by members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, giving the Holy Father a copy of their eponymous icon ‘written’, as the tradition would have it, by the esteemed, NSW-based iconographer, Michael Galovic.
The Ordinariate is a Catholic group steeped in the traditions of Christianity as they emerged in England, celebrating its own unique rites and liturgy with communities and priests throughout Australia, the UK and the USA.
The leader of the Australian Ordinariate, Mons Harry Entwistle, was joined at the presentation by ordinariate priest Fr Stephen Hill, currently based in Maitland-Newcastle, and ordinariate layman Brian Moyle.
The icon was presented on the Feast of the Holy Cross, a significant day in the calendars of the Ordinariate and the Roman and Eastern Catholic Churches.
Copies of the icon were also given to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI whose ecumenical vision gave rise to the Ordinariates – allowing former Anglicans to join the Church as a group, while retaining many of their traditions – and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who are responsible for their ongoing development.