For those who haven’t visited Holy Spirit Seminary, the Oratory is the sacred place where the community begins most days with Morning Prayer, Meditation, and Mass.
It is also a place of quiet prayer and meditation which seminarians may access at any time during the day. Since the building of the seminary, the Oratory in its design has reflected simplicity and beauty by using traditional Catholic art and furnishings. Most notable being the beautiful wooden Altar and Ambo, and the hand-crafted silver tabernacle, shaped as a dove representing the Holy Spirit.
To further enhance the experience of the Oratory being a place that invites and inspires prayer and worship, we have an opportunity to commission renowned icon artist living here in Brisbane, Sr Josephine Marie, who is a Regular Oblate of the Sisters of the Morning Star. Sister Josephine Marie will be leaving Australia for another assignment next year, but before she goes, we have asked her to create six icon panels for the Holy Spirit Seminary Oratory.
Fr Neil Muir’s hope is that she would live as an artist-in-residence for six months at the Seminary, not only creating these Icons for us, but also teaching our seminarians the ancient Christian tradition of ‘writing’ these beautiful images of the saints.
Sister Josephine Marie, through studies and prayer, has gained a deep understanding of the ancient art form of iconography. She teaches both the practical skills and the spiritual significance behind it. Her dedication to this craft involves creating exquisite icons using pure gold leaf and other natural materials, making each piece a unique expression of faith. Sister Josephine Marie describes her work as an intensive, but rewarding. A labour of love.
“With Icons, they are like a help for our faith”, Sister Josephine Marie says.
Steeped in centuries of Catholic tradition, Icons are so much more than decoration or art – they are a visual reminder of the saints that intercede for us, and a gentle guide to inspire our prayer and contemplation. They weave stories of grace, love, and salvation with vivid strokes and timeless beauty, often serving as ‘windows into heaven’ and to the mysteries that lie at the core of our Christian faith. With your support of this special project, the Seminary will be able to commission Sister Josephine Marie to create six icon panels, to live in residence at the Seminary for six months, and to fund the installation, lighting, and security for each one.
It is hoped that through the lived experience and guidance of Sr Josephine Marie, future priests will deepen their appreciation of religious art as well as the transformative and spiritual significance of icons.
Should you choose to support the Seminary in this very special project, your gift would not only provide a significant education for future priests, but also leave a legacy of liturgical art to prayerfully enhance our sacred place for present and future seminarians, as well as visitors.
To donate, please visit our Holy Spirit Seminary page.
P.S Do you have a favourite Icon? What do you like most about it? Please let us know!