Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Our Lady Comes To West End
Not too many people make the connection between West End and Catholicism. The local Catholic Church of St Francis sits above the river in Dornoch Terrace within walking distance of the Hardgrave Road hub. Keep your eyes open for the brown robed Capuchins who care for the local community and can be spotted shopping at a local supermarket.
Catholic legends of the suburb include the late Mick Sardie, last of the old hawkers in Brisbane. Irish Catholics have left their footprints of protest and a whole community of Catholic Workers operated out of the old Justice Products in Boundary Street.
There are many more of course worthy of a blog post, a book or even a mini series.
I thought of them today as I walked down Boundary Street and popped into a local shop to check that the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was still on the floor.
Back in the old days when we were really Catholic a statue of OLF would tour houses in the parish for a week at a time and neighbours would gather to recite the rosary and have a cuppa. This was way before social media and even predates TV. You were allowed to invite " non Catholics" as it was also a bit of a cadre recruitment drive.
So here she sits in West End no longer on the dining table but carefully watching over zombies and other artefacts.
Way back in 1917 on the 13th May three unsuspecting kids in Fatima were rudely interrupted by this sight and as they say the rest is history. Catholic tourism boomed the kids became religious superstars and statue makers had a product in demand for every Catholic Church, Chapel, Convent Monastery and Shrine around the globe.