When Fr Wayne was with us back in 2011-12, he was keen to replace our current processional cross with one that he felt was more meaningful and representative of our community mission statement, to be a community “living in Resurrection hope”. The first step was building the wooden cross which we now are using, and the second step was to find a suitable figure of the Resurrected Christ to fix to it. This latter step proved very frustrating, and the project lapsed, despite Wayne’s and my discussing it often in his recent time here.
The matter came up in conversation with Fathers Martinho and Matthew after their settling into the parish and the decision was to seek a sculptor who could assist us. This led to my appeal via the newsletter last November to source a sculptor who might be able to create an image of the resurrected Christ. There is such a figure in the Benedictine Sisters Abbey at Jamberoo in NSW – and this was the one that inspired Wayne. It is this image that I used in the newsletter appeal.
The wood sculptor commissioned to craft this new work is Jack Wilms. Jack’s studio and home are based in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and he was recommended for the project by parishioner Mike Capiron. Jack’s desire was to carve the whole cross from a single piece of red cedar, and upon completion he explained to us how he had anguished about how to express the final form. His gallery and studio is Cedar Creations situated at Coolabine in the Obi Valley.
The theological thinking behind a new cross was the movement from crucifixion to resurrection. The traditional crucifix of Jesus dying on the cross is a Calvary image, a very significant image indeed, because it symbolises Jesus’ triumph over sin. However, Calvary is not the climax of the Christian story, Easter is. Hence the use of an image of the Resurrected Christ, symbolising Jesus’ victory over sin and death and his ongoing living presence with us throughout the ages.
THE TAU CROSS
Symbols are not mere signs. They point to deeper realities to those who understand them, and our hope is that our new cross is a constant reminder of the reality of the Risen Christ, his death and resurrection, and his continuing presence with our community here at Mt Carmel, Coorparoo.
Our plan over the weeks of Lent is to focus on particular aspects of the sculpture as part of our preparation for Easter. The new sculpture is unique, and it invites us, as with any artistic creation, to ask questions. Here are three questions which would be important to reflect on as you come to know and pray with this new symbol for our community:
- What am I seeing?
- What am I feeling?
- How come what I see leads me to feel that way?