Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Ashes in Collingwood

The Easter Cross from St Joseph's Church Collingwood. Photographer Tony Robertson

This Easter Cross ia an image I took nearly 20 years ago at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Collingwood.Victoria.

On April 2 2007 this historic Church was burnt to the ground. St Joseph's has a long history of association with peace and justice ministry. It's story includes the vision and witness of great pioneers of justice:

In 1942 Father Frank Lombard was appointed priest in charge of the parish of Collingwood to test the Y.C.W. in an industrial area. He went on to become national chaplain and Collingwood continued to practice the Cardijn methodology in its pastoral outreach.

It's heroes also include the remarkable Margaret Oats, "The Angel of Colllingwood" whose support for "her girls" in the high rise units of Collingwood made hers a household name in the suburb as a witness to faith and justice.

The Vietnamese Community, many who arrived in Australia s refugees, had a shrine in the Church and one of the liturgical highlights of the year was the annual English / Vietnamese Holy Thursday Mass.

I lived and worked in this community during the early 1980s with the remarkable Michael Casey. Our household was a close knit community which for a few years included a bubbly young baby, our own John Paul.

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